Heathrow, the largest airport in the U.K., will begin installing facial recognition scanners in September to prevent illegal immigration.
The scanners will go in two terminals where international and domestic passengers commingle--an environment that makes it possible for a passenger to bypass the immigration counters.
The facial recognition will prevent, for example, a U.S. passenger from getting a domestic ticket from another passenger in the departure lounge and then flying to Glasgow. Now, the scanners will ensure that each ticketed passenger boards the correct flight.
Passengers' faces will be scanned after they've received their boarding pass and just before they go through security. Then, their faces will be scanned again once they've left the departure lounge and before they board their flight.
Aurora Computer Services, a U.K.-based company created the Aurora Image Recognition system, which uses a camera with an infrared flash. It'll be able to identify a person from about 3 feet away in 4.7 seconds.