Eurostar tests facial recognition system on London train station

Eurostar is testing a new biometric facial recognition technology on passengers traveling from London’s St Pancras International station to continental Europe.

The passengers will be given the opportunity to complete their pre-departure ticket and passport checks via the new biometric system, called the “SmartCheck” lane.

Those who take this option will be allowed to board the train without going through the typically tedious ID verification procedures.

The system will involve two facial scans, one at the ticket gate to verify the ticket check and one at the UK Exit Checkpoint, to confirm that the passport information is valid.

The goal, according to Eurostar, is to eliminate queues and expedite the boarding process, not only improving customer satisfaction but also minimizing the chances for viral transmission.

The system will be trialed with a limited number of invited passengers and won’t involve the UK’s or Schengen entry controls.

Eurostar announced its intention to introduce a facial recognition system to replace physical tickets and passport checks last year, and facial recognition company iProov helped them build it.

iProov is a proponent of what they call “passive authentication”, which is facial recognition without the user having to do anything.

The user consents to the platform by visiting an online portal to register with their information and takes an image of their face with the smartphone or webcam.

When they reach a physical checkpoint, they simply look at the camera, and the system authenticates them effortlessly.

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