Australia Will Be First Country To Ditch Passports In Favor OF Biometric Technology

By Edge Ison , Jan 24, 2017 02:38 AM EST

Australia is taking paperless technology one step further by ditching the passport. In its stead, travellers coming and going to the Land Down Under will be subjected to biometric scanning.

According to Gizmodo, the plan to use biometrics in identifying international passengers coming into Australia will come to fruition sometime between 2019 and 2020. That gives the country, particularly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, around three more years to perfect the "contactless" system before they say goodbye to scanning passports and checking if the holder looks like the one in the identification. The Guardian mentions that this plan has been in existence since 2015 when the Seamless Traveller initiative was announced.

Australia aims to have around 90 percent of people coming into the country to go through unmanned electric stations. The tech will take the biometrics of the passenger while a human will be on standby in case his or her services are required. In most likelihood, the human employee will only be needed if the passenger has travel restrictions or if there is some sort of technical issue.

Say Goodbye to SmartGates

The new system will eventually retire the SmartGates which has been used by the country's airports for ten years now. The SmartGates function by scanning the passports of travelers electronically. As impressive as this may sound, the new biometric tech that will be applied will make the process even better and faster.

Trials for the new system will be conducted at the Canberra airport before it is applied to larger airports in the country. The shift to biometric tech is expected to be completed by March 2019.

Other Uses of Biometrics

Facial recognition and biometric technology, in general, have been used in different manners before. In China, a KFC restaurant uses facial recognition to order for its customers. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg uses facial recognition which is integrated in his home AI Jarvis to identify visitors at the door. A lot of rumors are also saying that facial recognition will also be among the new features of the iPhone 8.

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