Authorities at the Beijing Railway Station have implemented an automated passenger processing system ahead of the country’s busy Spring Festival holidays. As passenger traffic ramps up for this season, the new system will use facial recognition to increase efficiency.
In order to use the system, passengers must have a smart identity card and a smart ticket card, and must remove any items covering their faces as they approach the scanner. The scan matches the passenger’s face to its image on the ID card in a process that reportedly takes only a few seconds.
Many airports around the world have begun to adopt similar biometric passenger screening systems, generally with an eye to both enhancing security and the passenger experience. And while the officials managing Beijing Railway Station are undoubtedly interested in maintaining a high level of security, it appears that this particularly system is primarily meant to improve efficiency with respect to passenger traffic, given the timing of its deployment just ahead of a busy holiday season.
There are signs that these kinds of facial recognition systems could spread rapidly in China, with CRI English reporting a China Merchants Bank branch is installing one for customer authentication at ATMs. Indeed, as Chinese citizens get accustomed to the convenience of biometric identification, there could be a growing appetite for the technology in the country.
February 5, 2016 – by Alex Perala