Biometric Data and the Future of Travel

Your passport might become a thing of the past.

Overlay of iris recognition technology on close-up of eye iStock

The Changi Airport in Singapore recently announced it will forgo passports in favor of clearing passengers with biometric data. The implications for the future of travel could be global. 

What is biometric data? 

Biometric data is any information that is based on your physical attributes and characteristics, such as your fingerprints, irises or facial structure. In the digital age, it’s often collected through automated technology. 

From fingerprint-secured laptops to the facial recognition on cell phones, biometric data has become a part of everyday life in the 21st century. According to the International Air Transport Association, using biometric data can help remove some friction from the travel experience. 

And as crowds continue to return to airports, the use of biometric data can increase expediency and even provide a healthier alternative to contact-based check-ins, such as sharing your passport with a ticketing agent.

What does the use of biometric technology look like in an airport? 

If you’re traveling in an airport that uses biometric verification technology, you may already be required to participate in a body scan at the terminal gate, baggage check or tunnels between them. 

CNN details what utilizing biometric data for travel looks like today, explaining that “smart gates” are being used in Dubai. Smart gates leverage biometric scanning technology to verify the identity of a traveler in as little as five seconds. In other parts of the world, such as London and Hong Kong, airports are using facial recognition technology to securely check in travelers. CNN also reports that U.S. airlines American, Delta and United have been testing the use of biometric technology at bag drops and boarding gates. 

Is biometric technology part of the future of travel? 

Increased use of biometric data could mean less time waiting in airports and getting to your destination faster. It can also mean a more relaxed and less stressful customer experience.  

What does the future of travel look like? Will an added ease to travel encourage more people to venture out and see the world? Only time will tell. In the meantime, you can enjoy expedited passport services through Rush My Passport to get out into the world as quickly as possible. 

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