NEC has formed a landmark partnership with the Star Alliance consortium of airlines that will lead to the creation of a facial recognition platform for Star Alliance’s frequent flyers. The opt-in platform will allow passengers of Star Alliance’s member airlines to move through various checkpoints without the need for a passport or a boarding pass, using only biometric authentication to enter lounges or pass through boarding gates and check-in kiosks at participating airports.
The proposed system is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020. Star Alliance members will be able to let their passengers use a mobile device to enroll in the program, and the latter will only need to do so once to enable biometric authentication when flying with any Star Alliance airline at an airport that supports the biometric technology.
“This partnership will help us make the way from curb to gate to aircraft a much simpler, yet innovative experience for our customers,” said Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh.
“Facial recognition is revolutionizing the airline industry and making flying more enjoyable,” added NEC President and CEO Takashi Niino. “NEC will provide local assistance to each of the member airlines to leverage this secure, interoperable platform and bring our common vision to reality.”
The news comes shortly after NEC released a survey that found that the fast majority of frequent flyers would opt into a facial recognition platform that made the airport experience more convenient, which bodes well for the new Star Alliance program. NEC has already deployed facial recognition technology at airports in Brazil and the US, and recently announced that it will be expanding the scope of its network at airports in Japan.
July 26, 2019 – by Eric Weiss