James Bond-esqe Iris Recognition NOT Coming to an Airport Near You

Travel News — By christinegarvin on April 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

If you thought you might get to experience the 009 lifestyle at Britain’s airports, we have some unfortunate news for you.

Officials have apparently killed off the Iris Recognition Immigration System, otherwise known as IRIS, due to its purported malfunctions and slow results.

The machines, which were supposed to scan peoples’ eyes  in 12 seconds as they went through passport control, apparently didn’t live up to their reputation. It often took longer than the good old way of an actual human being looking at your passport and asking you questions. Plus, up to one in ten travelers were wrongly rejected.

Image: schnaars/Flickr

There’s also the fact that some people would get stuck inside the scanning booths after they malfunctioned. Definitely not very James Bond-like.

Officials have already removed the machines from the Birmingham and Manchester airports, and it sounds like the Heathrow and Gatwick ones will get the axe after the Olympics are over. That’s a waste of about 9 million pounds, which the government spent on development and implementation. By a French firm, no less.

But you’re still in luck if you want to experience a laser-beam to the eye! Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport also has the iris scanning technology, and as far as we know, they don’t plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. They apparently developed the scan on their own and the performance of their machines are up-to-snuff.

Or maybe, even if it takes a bit longer to get through customs in Amsterdam, people are naturally more “laid back” than when they’re going into London. Hmm.





Tags: Amsterdam, Iris Recognition Immigration System, London, passport control, UK

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