Singapore's largest airport is testing a facial recognition system that, its CIO claims, could eventually be used to locate lost travellers and even replace passports.
Changi Airport claims that it has implemented prototype biometric technology to ensure that people do not get lost and get to their flight on time.
Ranked as one of the world's most efficient airports, it is currently undergoing a major digital transformation initiative to help solve a range of challenges.
For instance, the airport is using connected technology to reduce congestion on its runways and make more accurate predictions of flight times.
These form part of a wider plan from the Singapore government to turn the city-state into a "smart nation". It is using technology to improve the lives of citizens and the economy.
Speaking to Reuters, Changi Airport Group CIO Steve Lee said that the organisation has turned to technology in a bid to solve a range of problems.
"We have lots of reports of lost passengers... so one possible use case we can think of is, we need to detect and find people who are on the flight. Of course, with permission from the airlines," he said.
Lee explained that the airport has implemented a system that captures a person's face and cross-references it to a database to ascertain their likely identity.
Such technology has been used by countries such as China as a way to identify what they claim are criminals, but privacy campaigners across the world have voiced concern.
Changi's system would only be used to help customers locate their flights, Lee was keen to assert. He added that the airport is working with a range of businesses to test the technology, but did not name any of them.
However, Chinese technology company Yitu told Reuters that it has previously held talks with the Airport to provide biometric technology.
This is not the first time it has installed facial recognition technology, either. One of the Airport's new terminals is using it to deliver self-service in an attempt to cut queues.
Lee believes that, in the distant future, this technology could even remove the need for passports by directly identifying people by face, and linking that with their identity.
"Today you take passport, you show your face and you show your boarding pass. Then, in future, you just take your face. You don't need your passport," he added.
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