IDEMIA has unveiled a new biometric kiosk that will be used to screen third-party nationals at European borders. The self-service TravelKiosk EES will allow countries in the Schengen Area to meet regulatory changes that will go into effect in 2022.
The planned changes specifically concern the European Union’s Entry/Exit System (EU-EES), which establishes travel rules for foreign visitors. The Schengen Area allows the citizens of member countries to cross the borders of other member countries freely, but foreign nationals must still submit to a more traditional border screening process when arriving at and leaving from countries that are part of the Schengen region.
As it stands, the EES currently requires fingerprint enrollment for foreign nationals crossing Schengen borders. The incoming 2022 changes will add facial recognition to the mix, forcing visitors to register their faces in addition to their fingerprints.
The TravelKiosk EES is designed to automate that process, and to do so in a way that acknowledges the sanitary concerns about shared devices in the wake of COVID-19. To that end, the Kiosk is capable of contactless fingerprint capture and verification.
The Kiosks are built to be interoperable with other border control systems, and can be integrated with various security and law enforcement watchlists. They will also adjust the screening process for each traveler based on their legal status with the European Union. The technology is expected to minimize the administrative burden on border guards, and to facilitate passportless screening at e-Gates and other border checkpoints.
The new Kiosks arrive several months after IDEMIA signed a contract to deliver a new shared biometric matching system (sBMS) for the European Union. The contract covers an initial four-year term, and was signed in conjunction with Sopra Steria.
IDEMIA itself has already provided screening technology for more than 30 border control projects around the world. The company renewed its SmartGate contract with the Australian Border Agency in 2019, and has also announced plans to increase its border control investments in the APAC region.
October 19, 2020 – by Eric Weiss