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Hackernoon logoImportance of Face Detection Algorithms in the Travel Industry by@jeff-parker

Importance of Face Detection Algorithms in the Travel Industry

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@jeff-parkerJeff Parker

Tech writer specialising in digital trends. FinTech, Blockchain and AI enthusiast.

The travel industry has been transformed by the use of facial detection algorithms streamlining processes and reducing hassle at different checkpoints. Airports, train stations and hotels have done away with long cues that required people to submit identity documentation and have them manually verified by officials. The whole process is being humanised by minimizing security processes and make the airport experience smoother. 

Biometric technologies have made processes efficient and reduced costs by verifying customers quickly and more accurately. Face detection algorithms in particular are becoming highly popular among smartphone users who find it extremely convenient to login with facial recognition. Travellers can board and self-drop their bags with just a facial scan.

Benefits of Facial Recognition Technology

Improved Customer Travel Experience

As a non-intrusive method of screening users, facial recognition provides a unique and foolproof way of onboarding customers. Lengthy passwords do not have to be remembered or saved every time a user has to check-in to a flight or book a hotel. It saves travellers any kinds of additional delays that results from failure to verify or register themselves due to lack of identity proof. 

Travellers can now board flights without handing over passports or travel documents. Boarding and security checks can be completed with minimum delays. According to one estimate, 285 passengers can be boarded in 20 minutes, a process that is twice as fast as a manual process.

Hotels have automated their customer check-in processes to relieve pain points related to customer onboarding. Immigration data records that contain essential identity information can be accessed and used to identify travellers at arrival. This efficiency in processes leads to pleasant customer experiences and long standing client trust in the travel industry.

It is also true that travellers are concerned about privacy breaches due to the large databases of faces that are maintained during airport screenings. Strong security and legislation for digital security are prerequisites for the application of such technology, so that misuse of personal data can be avoided. Digital identities can be created and tracked without users’ consent. Currently a lack of regulation prevents travellers from opting out of this technology, in view of the way faces are monitored and followed everywhere.

Use of Facial Recognition in Airports

With a phenomenal rise in the volume of travellers in the recent past, there are genuine concerns about how airport terminals will handle check-ins. Biometric technologies, such as facial, fingerprint and iris scanning can all present solutions to this problem.

We are already witnessing the use of machines at airports to scan faces and to improve efficiency at entry and exit. This has helped in limiting the number of people entering countries illegally. The US is already using this technology for surveillance at airports to single out imposters and travel scammers.

Enhanced Services in the Hospitality Industry

Verification and authentication processes in the hospitality industry can be automated using face recognition, with the ability to recognise people in large groups. Robust security systems grant access to hotel rooms, identify bad actors such as guests that have previously been removed from the hotel for improper conduct.

Customer service can be improved by identifying guests even before they check-in, and providing personalied services to them. Greeting messages and other reward programs can be customised to match customers’ travel history and preferences. Returning customers can be instantly identified and provided with enhanced services to establish long term clients.

Payment systems are also being authorised using biometric technology, where customers can easily authorise payments using a simple selfie. Similarly, market research can be carried out with enhanced customer data collated in one place, helping companies draw conclusions about trends and predictions for following seasons.

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