Saudi Arabia is planning to use iris recognition to identify travelers at all of its land, sea, and air borders. The country’s National Information Center (NIC) is now soliciting bids for the project, and will award the final contract to a Saudi technology provider.
The NIC is part of the Saudi Ministry of Interior. The organization indicated that the winning company will need to be able to deliver a system that meets the latest international standards for biometric authentication.
The announcement reflects the growing interest in biometric technology in the travel industry. Modalities like face and iris recognition enable contactless passenger screening, which allows people to move through the airport more quickly and mitigates the spread of pathogens like COVID-19. Industry insiders are hoping that touchless solutions will restore the public’s confidence in air travel during and after the pandemic.
The NIC is opting to use iris recognition because the technology is accurate and easy to use. Each eye is unique, so there is a low risk of false positives when using iris recognition.
Several major airports have installed biometric screening technology in the past few months. Emirates launched a Smart Tunnel immigration system in Dubai, while Daon is conducting a contactless screening pilot in Denver.
November 12, 2020 – by Eric Weiss