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Dubai Airport to use virtual face-scanning aquariums for security

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Getting through security is often the most stressful part of traveling, but one airport is using new technology to make the process a whole lot easier.

The Dubai International Airport has come up with a novel way to get people through the security process utilizing facial recognition technology. Travelers will walk through a tunnel which will be projected with a virtual aquarium As people walk through, 80 built-in cameras will scan their faces and irises. When they reach the end, they’ll either be allowed through with a message that reads “Have a nice trip,” or held up with a red sign that alerts security, The Verge reports.

The images inside the tunnel can be changed to display landscapes or advertisements. The purpose is not just to hide the cameras, but to encourage people to look around, allowing the cameras to capture better-quality face scans.

“The fish [are] a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveler but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travelers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his / her face print,” Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, deputy director general of Dubai residency and foreign affairs, told The National.

The project, which is being developed in partnership with Emirates airline, can be seen beginning in 2018 in Terminal 3, with other terminals to follow in phases through 2020, according to The Verge.

The airport worked for over a year-and-a-half on different security technologies to make travel both easier and safer. They have also introduced new explosives detectors that can identify a broader range of materials, according to The National.

The idea for the facial recognition tunnels came about when airport officials were considering ways to accommodate the growing number of people passing through Dubai each year, with an estimated 124 million expected by 2020, The Verge reports.

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