Kuala Lumpur Airport pilots facial recognition technology

Malaysia Airlines has partnered with IT firm SITA to pilot facial recognition technology at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

Known as the Single Token Journey concept, the technology provides single-identification verification for passengers at all airport touchpoints such as check-in, security and customs.

This is a part of the site’s Airports 4.0 initiative to transform Kuala Lumpur Airport into a smart airport using big data analytics (BDA).

The technology will be piloted for three months and will be available for passengers boarding two daily Malaysia Airlines flights to Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan.

With the introduction of this technology, the need to check the identity of passengers at multiple checkpoints will be eliminated as all passenger information will be made available to the airport’s different authorities.

Malaysia Airports acting group CEO Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said: “Our main focus in moving forward is to strengthen Malaysia’s position as an aviation hub. We will ensure that services at our airports are at par with other mega hubs around the world.

“Harnessing technology for this purpose is one way we can simplify airport processes for our guests. This initiative is especially timely in view of Visit Malaysia 2020. We expect to have a successful pilot so that we can implement this in totality at KUL.”

Earlier this month, Malaysia Airports opened the newly refurbished immigration arrivals hall at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2).

In February last year, the company allocated MYR300m ($73.72m) to upgrade the baggage handling system (BHS) at the main terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

source : https://www.airport-technology.com/news/facial-recognition-pilots-kuala-lumpur-airport/

Coronavirus: do airport screenings and face masks work?

he decision to quarantine at least 50 million people in cities in China – including Wuhan, a regional capital that is larger than London – has triggered both praise and condemnation across the globe. 

Some experts argue that restricting travel is the only real way to stop a virus spreading further – especially considering the country celebrated Chinese New Year this weekend. The government estimate that this usually involves three billion trips across the country and region as people travel to meet friends and family.

But other experts say that the draconian intervention – which is one of the largest quarantines in global history – will only spread panic and drive cases underground. 

“Involuntary quarantines have a questionable track record and can often be counterproductive,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and former Obama era director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance.

“A quarantine… will be challenging to enforce, and past precedents suggest it could lead to more hiding of cases and less voluntary compliance with public health measures.”

Others have told The Telegraph  that the move is like “shutting down London at Christmas.”

But if a quarantine is not the answer, what can be done to stop the virus – which has already killed at least 80 people and infected more than 2,700 – spreading further?

Do face masks work?

People wearing face masks have become a defining image of large disease outbreaks, and this one is no different, with cities in Asia already reporting shortages as masks fly off the shelves

But in reality, the thin material masks do little to stop a respiratory virus spreading. 

“The face masks that we see people wearing are surgical face masks,” said Dr Mark Parrish, regional medical director of the medical and travel security firm International SOS. “As you breathe in and out you’re breathing air from outside the face mask. So it will stop a little bit but not hugely.”

Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, added that face masks were proven to be effective in hospitals.

“There are reports in literature that face masks in a hospital setting can protect health care workers. But there, they are being used for short periods by trained professions,changed frequently and properly disposed of. Those staff are also adopting good personal hygiene. 

Pedestrians wearing protective masks in Shanghai, China
Pedestrians wearing protective surgical masks in Shanghai, China Credit:  Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

“But in the general population it may even be the case that they’re not helpful at all,” he added.

“If you don’t change them regularly enough, they could potentially start to trap viruses and eventually they can move through that mask into your respiratory tract.”  

Dr Parrish added that heavy duty masks, called N95’s, are far more effective than simple surgical masks for the general population. But these aren’t fool-proof either. 

“These cause a tight seal around your nose and mouth so becomes harder to breathe air in – you don’t really want to give people with respiratory systems,” he said. 

Is screening at transport hubs the best way to control the coronavirus?

Numerous countries across the globe, including the UK, have introduced screening at airports in an attempt to identify people who may have coronavirus symptoms

But the limit here is that only those who are already ill will be picked up. So health experts say the most effective way to control the spread of viruses is an alert health system and high standards of infection control.

Professor David Heymann, infectious disease expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that perhaps the most valuable element of airport screening is telling passengers about the signs and symptoms of a disease and what they should do if they’re worried.

“Educating the public is key,” he told The Telegraph.

“The measures we have to adopt are diagnosing and isolating cases as quickly as possible so they are unable to transmit onwards,” added Professor Neil Ferguson, a disease outbreak scientist at Imperial College, London. “Contact tracing and [either] isolating them or tracking them daily is important.”

Prof Ball added that even large epidemics can be controlled if the basics are in place. 

“What we do know that works is just good personal hygiene, regular hand washing and for people to use a tissue when they have a cold,” he said.

“We know even when an outbreak gets reasonably large you can bring it under control with infection control – think back to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak with 8,000 cases.”

source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-do-face-masks-airport-screenings-work/

Israeli anti-drone solution tested successfully at international airports

the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit and the opening ceremony of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics.

An arrivals board in the South Terminal building at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following its forced closure because of drone activity, in Gatwick, Britain, December 21, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)

ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), successfully tested its new anti-drone solution at “several large international airports,” the company said on Monday.The “Drone Guard” solution, IAI said, serves rapidly growing demand by airport operators in the aftermath of severe disruption caused to London’s Gatwick Airport in December 2018 by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Specialist equipment deployed by the British Army to enable the reopening of the airport runway after 36 hours of interruption included the deployment of the Drone Dome system, developed by Israeli defense company Rafael. Read More Related Articles

Drone Guard was tested at airports in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia during daily routine operating hours, demonstrating the detection and neutralization of drones without hindering flight timetables or impacting passengers.

The system has also already been deployed to protect leaders and infrastructure at the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit and the opening ceremony of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics.The system integrates a 3D X-band radar to detect and track all types of drones, a COMINT system to classify the drones by their transmission, an electro-optical/infra-red camera to classify detected objects, and a jammer to neutralize and intercept the threatening object. Hundreds of units of the system, which is specifically configured to operate in the complex airport environment, have been sold to date.”Drone Guard system is operational worldwide and was used to protect major events such as the G20 in Argentina last year. We are proud to provide the Drone Guard system to some of the main airports around the world,” said IAI vice-president and ELTA CEO Yoav Tourgeman.

“Since the Drone Guard is lightweight, transportable and easy to set up, we have been able to meet these demands with an excellent level of performance. In September, we participated in the REP(MUS) 19 NATO exercise in Portugal where we successfully demonstrated the Drone Guard’s ability to protect harbors against hostile drones, UASs, USVs and other airborne and surface threats.”

source :https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Israeli-anti-drone-solution-tested-successfully-at-international-airports-615526

Washington Man Diagnosed With Coronavirus

Washington Man Diagnosed With Coronavirus Being Treated By A Robot Doctor Equipped With A Stethoscope

A Washington man who was the first in the United States to be diagnosed with the deadly Wuhan coronavirus is now being held in isolation, where he is treated mostly by a robot doctor equipped with a stethoscope.

As CNN reported, the man was diagnosed with the virus on Monday after having recently traveled to Wuhan, China. He arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 15, before health screenings were set up at U.S. airports in an effort to identify people who might be infected and stop the spread of the disease. After going to an urgent care clinic on January 19 and eventually being taken to Providence Regional Medical Center, the man was put in isolation where he has been in contact with only a limited number of medical workers.

In order to limit contact between the infected man and doctors, the hospital is making use of a robot that takes the man’s vitals and communicates with him through a large screen, hospital officials said.

Throughout the man’s treatment, hospital officials have been making efforts to keep him away from others and limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The report noted that the man, who has not been publicly identified but is said to be in his 30s, is now in a stable condition. The report added that health officials in Washington have reached out to 43 people who were called “close contacts” with the infected man, with state officials checking in on them daily to monitor for any possible symptoms.

Since the Washington man was diagnosed with the coronavirus, a second person inside the United States has been confirmed as having the disease, Fox News. The second case was reported in Chicago. The virus has claimed the lives of 56 people to date and sickened close to 2,000 others since it originated in Wuhan, the report added.

source : https://www.inquisitr.com/5856001/washington-man-coronavirus-treated-by-robot-doctor/

Securing Germany’s airports against drones will cost millions: ministry

Anti-drone measures to protect German air traffic will cost €30 million per airport, the federal government has admitted. Security officials say their ability to deal with drones is limited without a huge investment.

Making German airports more secure against drones would require an initial investment of €30 million ($33 million) per airport, the country’s Transport Ministry said on Saturday, responding to an information request by Germany’s business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Read more: German airports unprotected against drones

The ministry did not say how many German airports would require such a defense system. Germany is home to 16 international airports as well as many smaller airports.

German police currently possess technical tools to detect and, when necessary, divert unpiloted aircraft, the ministry reported. However, these methods are “technically limited” in their ability to disrupt a drone’s control system or to “affect them physically.”

The Transport Ministry is in support of the proposed drone defense project, named “Falke.”

Plans are in the works to test how quickly drones near airports can be detected, identified, and captured so that air traffic is not disrupted. The testing will take place at Hamburg Airport.

Drones disrupted air traffic in Germany 158 times in 2019, according to data reported by Funke Media Group. Drones aren’t allowed to fly within 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) of German international airports. 

“Drones can’t be allowed to threaten security at German airports,” FDP politician Bernd Reuther said, upon publication of the cost. “For this reason, the federal government must account for the necessary measures in the 2021 federal budget.”

source and full article here ; https://www.dw.com/en/securing-germanys-airports-against-drones-will-cost-millions-ministry/a-52147326

Video: Future Travel Experience Global 2019

NEC attended FTE Global 2019 in Las Vegas to showcase how it can help airports and airlines create a seamless end-user experience.

NEC attended FTE Global 2019 in Las Vegas, to showcase how it can help airports and airlines create a seamless end-user experience. NEC participated in a key note about Delta’s partnership with US CBP and TSA to launch the first biometrics terminal in the US.

source : https://www.internationalairportreview.com/video/110758/video-future-travel-experience-global-2019/

Airport security is about to become more efficient

16th January 2020

airport security
© iStock/minemero

Airport security queues could drop considerably and screening for weapons could become more effective after a British university was awarded €1.1m to develop a new method.

Dr. Okan Yurduseven from the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s University Belfast, has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Leadership Award to progress technology which he hopes will cut the time it takes to collect and process data through security scanners from 10 seconds to less than a tenth of a second.

In 2015, an investigation of the Transportation Security Administration in the US found that undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials.

Yurduseven explains: “When we arrive at the airport, everyone has to go through security clearance and body scanners which can take some time.

“When we walk through the scanner, it can take around 10 seconds to collect and process the data and reconstruct an image.

“It takes even more when the data is sent to a controller, who then manually checks it for illegal items. It can also add extra time when there are false alarms.”

Yurduseven continued: “While this may not sound like very long, we have to take into account the huge volume of people filtering through airport security every day and this causes huge queues.

“More worryingly is that the current system has been investigated and issues have been raised in terms of how many illegal items could go unnoticed.”

He adds: “This Leverhulme Research Leadership Award will allow us to create technology that is fully electronic, rather than manually operated, and this will allow the scanners to process the images in real time—we think the entire scan process should be complete in less than a tenth of a second.

“By integrating machine learning into the design process, we will substantially reduce the false alarm rates in detecting threat objects. The outcome of this project will be of vital importance to ensure the safety of the public right across the globe.

“In order to do this, we will use state-of-the-art millimetre-wave radar systems. We expect that the end result will be a much more effective system, leading to safer outcomes and reduced waiting times—so hopefully shorter queues at airports and other venues that use these scanners.”

source : https://www.scitecheuropa.eu/airport-security-is-about-to-become-more-efficient/99221/

Parallel Reality experience to be trialled at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Delta Air Lines will launch Parallel Reality at Detroit Airport, allowing multiple travellers to see personalised content on a single digital screen.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is set to host the pilot beta experience of Delta Air Lines’ and Misapplied Sciences’ Parallel RealityTM.

The trial is the first step toward a future where the airport environment itself is tailored to each customer.

The new technology allows multiple travellers to see personalised content tailored to their unique journey on a single digital screen, at the exact same time as other users and in their preferred language. Passengers can utilise the technology on offer for wayfinding, like directions to their departure gate, and personalised travel information.

Nearly 100 passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be able to simultaneously view personalised content tailored to their individual travel needs, displayed on a single large-scale digital screen located just after the security checkpoint. Users are required to opt-in in order to use the technology, and feedback from both the users and the employees will be critical to shaping future experiences.

Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This breakthrough technology has to be seen to be believed – it has the potential to make even the busiest airports much easier to navigate, even if you don’t speak the language. Not only will Parallel Reality reduce stress and save time for our customers, but, when combined with the warmth and thoughtfulness of our Delta people, the possibilities are endless.”

Passengers participating in the beta experience can expect the following:

  • After moving through security, travellers will see a Parallel Reality display near the Delta Sky Club in Concourse A of the McNamara Terminal
  • Passengers departing from the airport who wish to participate can scan their boarding pass on the boarding pass scanner and select the language they want to use
  • Leveraging multi-view pixels and proprietary technology, this innovation enables each customer to see personalised, in-language messages – tailored just to them – as they walk past the digital screen
  • For the trial, tailored messages may include personalised wayfinding, flight information or updates, boarding time, the nearest Delta Sky Club or even upgrade/standby status.

Watch video at source : https://www.internationalairportreview.com/news/110051/detroit-metropolitan-airport-parallel-reality/

Meet the robots that may be coming to an airport near you

Published Sat, Jan 11 202010:31 AM EST Tim Hornyak@robotopia

  • Robots are staffing airports around the world and performing such tasks as check-in, security and concierge services.
  • Nearly half of the world’s airlines and 32% of its airports are seeking a partner to further investigate robotics and automated vehicles in the next three years, according to the 2018 Air Transport IT Insights survey.
  • By 2030 robots are expected to have replaced check-in processes, according to a report published this year by UK-based inventory management company Vero Solutions.

“Good morning. Welcome to British Airways. Where can I take you?” The crisp female voice might belong to any woman working for BA, but it’s a robot cruising around London’s Heathrow Airport. The carrier is trying out a pair of autonomous robots that can guide passengers around Terminal 5. It’s one of the latest examples of increasing automation at airports including advanced intelligent machines that interact with passengers.

Terminal 5 is Heathrow’s busiest, with some 32.8 million passengers on 210,723 flights in 2018. The following year, BA installed 80 automated bag-drop machines in the facility; it also has experimented with self-driving luggage vehicles. The carrier says automation in the terminal has reduced the number of lineups and made journeys faster and smoother.

To make the new robots more user-friendly, they’ve both been named Bill after Captain E. H. “Bill” Lawford, who flew the U.K.’s first international scheduled passenger flight, from Middlesex to Paris, in 1919.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy a faster and smoother journey through the airport and beyond,” says Ricardo Vidal, head of innovation at BA. “These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate. In the future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our people, offering a truly seamless travel experience.”

H/O: British airways airport robot

Robots at Heathrow Airport can communicate with passengers in multiple languages and can provide real-time flight information.

The pair of waist-high robots from London-based BotsAndUs can communicate with passengers in multiple languages and can provide real-time flight information. They can also guide people to service desks, oversized luggage check-in counters, self-service check-ins, bag drops, cafes and other facilities in the terminal. The machines are based on the company’s Bo robot, which has an 11-inch display and sensors including 3D LIDAR, ultrasonic, infrared and vision. It can autonomously navigate and avoid obstacles and has a lithium-ion battery with eight hours of power on a full charge.

“Automation has already significantly changed how airports function, across all areas of operation — from passenger services to luggage maneuvering, security and many more,” says Andrei Danescu, co-founder and CEO of BotsAndUs. “What we see as a key next step is actually bringing all these together so they can communicate and collaborate with each other, offering a seamless and safe experience from the car park to boarding the flight.”

Worldwide rollout

Heathrow isn’t the only airport trying to roll out robots. They’ve appeared at airports in places like LaGuardia, Munich and Seoul. Robots or autonomous machines are part of pilot projects at 40% of airlines and make up major programs at 14% of carriers, according to the 2019 Air Transport IT Insights survey, published by industry association SITA. It reported in 2018 that nearly half the world’s airlines and almost a third of airports want to investigate robotics and automa

H/O: British airways airport robot

Robots at Heathrow Airport can communicate with passengers in multiple languages and can provide real-time flight information.

The pair of waist-high robots from London-based BotsAndUs can communicate with passengers in multiple languages and can provide real-time flight information. They can also guide people to service desks, oversized luggage check-in counters, self-service check-ins, bag drops, cafes and other facilities in the terminal. The machines are based on the company’s Bo robot, which has an 11-inch display and sensors including 3D LIDAR, ultrasonic, infrared and vision. It can autonomously navigate and avoid obstacles and has a lithium-ion battery with eight hours of power on a full charge.

“Automation has already significantly changed how airports function, across all areas of operation — from passenger services to luggage maneuvering, security and many more,” says Andrei Danescu, co-founder and CEO of BotsAndUs. “What we see as a key next step is actually bringing all these together so they can communicate and collaborate with each other, offering a seamless and safe experience from the car park to boarding the flight.”

Worldwide rollout

Heathrow isn’t the only airport trying to roll out robots. They’ve appeared at airports in places like LaGuardia, Munich and Seoul. Robots or autonomous machines are part of pilot projects at 40% of airlines and make up major programs at 14% of carriers, according to the 2019 Air Transport IT Insights survey, published by industry association SITA. It reported in 2018 that nearly half the world’s airlines and almost a third of airports want to investigate robotics and automated vehicles in the next three years. Industry players are trying out various kinds of machines that serve different purposes.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/01/10/airports-near-you-are-trying-robots-for-better-passenger-travel.html

read more at : https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/meet-the-robots-that-may-be-coming-to-an-airport-near-you.html