Manchester Airport's passengers will be invited to participate in a technology trial that can recognize an individual's iris while they walk around.
Developed by Human Recognition Systems, the product trial will last for two weeks in Terminal 1. Passengers register after check in so that their iris can be used to identify them as they enter the security search area.
The technology could have a variety of applications to speed up the identification of passengers. Just one example might be to allow international transfer passengers to mix with domestic passengers in the departure lounge because they can be identified before boarding their flight.
Currently, arriving passengers from overseas who are connecting to another international flight in Manchester remain separated from domestic passengers to protect the integrity of UK border security.
"We are keen to develop technology solutions to improve our passengers' experience of the airport", said Mike Fazackerley, Product Director at Manchester Airport. "People are familiar with the concept of iris recognition. This technology has the potential for a number of uses in a busy airport environment including security because it can recognize individuals when they are moving around.
"Although it is in its very early stages of development, using this technology for transfer passengers could make Manchester attractive to airlines as a hub airport in the future."
The airport uses iris recognition to manage staff access into sensitive areas of the airport. Immigration authorities also use it for preregistered people arriving back into the U.K. However, the current system requires users to look directly into a device that uses photo recognition software to authenticate individuals.