Biometrics Industry News Roundup: Biometrics in Airports and Amusement Parks

This past week in biometrics news we saw a number of new deployments, some resistance to identity management, talk about border control and – because it was week three of Biometric Software Month – some strong authentication technologies you can try on your smartphone right now.

Aruba Airport is trialing a pre-screening initiative that will replace passport checks performed by security personnel with facial biometrics and a self-serve attitude. For the second year in a row, the Happy Flow program explores new technologies that can make the travel between Aruba and The Netherlands more convenient. Vision-Box has been selected by the committee behind this program to trial its biometric border control technology, providing a seamless and secure airport experience.

Staying on the topic of airports security, findBIOMETRICS has announce the second part in our series of webinars focusing on the automated border control eGates and kiosks market. Presented in association with Acuity Market Intelligence, this will build on the groundwork of our most recent webinar, taking a closer look at biometric in airports. The presentation is scheduled for this coming Wednesday and registration is open.

Those who read our Physical Access Control Month feature articles throughout April, will remember that border control is an application for physical biometric security. A company that constantly comes up in conversation on this topic – either through its operating partners or directly – is Suprema, Inc. This week the company released its financial results for first quarter, 2014, and things are looking up for the biometric solutions provider recently recognized as among the world’s fastest growing companies in the physical security market.

Viscount Systems continued to announce physical access contracts for its Freedom platform. The Viscount solution helps break gown adoption barriers by allowing biometrics and other forms of security to be deployed using a building’s existing IT infrastructure. The newest states in which Freedom will be protecting federal government buildings are New York and Louisiana.

DigitalPersona announced a deployment in China this week, with its fingerprint biometric technology featured on a point-of-sale system selected for use by fashion retailer New Look. The technology was initially meant to cut down on administrative costs, but after the initial pilot New Look started to recognize the biometric solution as responsible for better customer service.

Fingerprint biometrics were also the source of some controversy in Montreal regarding a Six Flags amusement park that is using strong authentication to attack ticket fraud. The system is in place to cut down lines and eliminate ticket sharing habits in season pass holders, but due to a lack of understanding of the technology the public displayed a negative reaction. The spokespeople for Six Flags do understand how fingerprint biometrics are being used in the deployment, however and thanks to their careful response it looks like the deployment will be sticking around.

Things are looking a little less hopeful for the Indian national ID project. Aadhaar, which has been in place since 2009, may be under threat of dismantling now that a new political party is in control. In the run up to this most recent election, the Bharatiya Janata Party – now in power – publicly slammed the program, calling it a failure and a waste of money.

Finally, as part of our ongoing exploration of biometrics in pop culture, we took a look at voice and speech recognition in the recent film Her. While most depictions of identity management turn out to be less than flattering and downright incorrect, Spike Jonze’s film has portrayed an accurate picture of what the future of mobile biometrics might look like.

Be sure to stay posted to findBIOMETRICS as we enter the final week in Biometric Software Month and follow us on Twitter for some big announcements.