We recently attended Passenger Transport Expo at FIRA in Barcelona. It was a fantastic show, but the highlight for us was London Gatwick’s CIO Michael Ibbitson’s presentation focusing on the cloud and what he described as the “biometric revolution”.
He argued that Airports were out of step with the rest of the business community by continuing to focus on building their own IT infrastructure data centres and should start to look at utilising the cloud. He gave the example of the Gatwick ID Centre’s imminent move to the cloud utilising Human Recognition Systems’ MTrust solution. The bottom line benefits of the cloud include rapid deployment of computing resources, high performance and service reliability.
Michael then went on to discuss the “biometric revolution” that is being driven by the integration of biometric technology in to smartphones and mobile devices. He believes that in the not too distant future biometrics will be the main basis that we conduct transactions with service providers of all denominations.
And we agree.
To date, biometrics have been focused on security applications, border protection and “Big Government” civil identity programmes. But the launch of the iPhone 5s with embedded fingerprint biometrics and subsequent releases and planned releases by Samsung around facial and iris recognition technology have acted as the catalyst for a new phase in the adoption of biometrics, moving them into the mainstream.
What is clear is that air travel is one sector that can really benefit from and drive the biometric revolution. It is has long been HRS’ vision to create a fully biometric airport and facilitate ticketless travel for passengers. With MFlow we are making that a reality for more and more customers, putting the passenger at the heart of the operation and making them a shared customer to be focused on and cared for by all parties at the airport – be that airlines, the airport, handlers or control authorities.
We believe it is the drive to meet this vision which will shape and ultimately define both the airports and the passenger and staff experience of the future.