SINGAPORE: A gantry letting travellers clear immigration without stopping at barriers for passport scans or biometrics is in the works in Singapore. The system does not even require passengers to stop but works while they’re on the move.

A product in development from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) can currently be seen in France at Milipol Paris 2023. The event, the leading activity focusing on Homeland Security and Safety, is held this year at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre from Nov 14 to 17.

The event, organized under the French Ministry of Interior in partnership with several governmental bodies, “provides the perfect forum for presenting the latest technological innovations in the area, effectively meeting the needs of the sector as a whole and also addressing current threats and dangers,” its site says.

Over half (55 per cent) of the exhibitors at the event are from overseas. A team of scientists and engineers from the company and Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam, also attended the event, The Straits Times reported on Nov 16 (Thursday).

The innovative system from HTX is called the Next-Generation Clearance Concept, which includes a barrier-free gantry and a self-enrolment kiosk so that travellers can enter their biometrics independently.

There is currently a two-step process for anyone entering the country’s borders. First, passports are scanned, and then people are allowed through a barrier. But, to go through the barrier, they must have their biometrics scanned.

While this process takes less than one minute, going through HTX’s Next-Generation Clearance Concept is even faster, taking only a few seconds as travellers are not required to stop. They can go through the system while still walking. Or, as the company calls it, On-The-Move Multi-Modal Biometrics Clearance.

This exploratory development project aims to transform today’s biometrics clearance from a stop-and-go process to a simplified three steps experience: ‘Walk, Look, Clear’.

This project aims to reimagine the entire user biometric clearance experience by challenging and redefining tech boundaries to scan, identify, and authenticate users on the move, thereby transforming biometric clearance to achieve greater user-centricity,” the system’s site says.

In related news, it was announced in September that starting next year, automated immigration clearance will be introduced at Changi Airport, letting passengers travel from Singapore without needing a passport. Biometric data will be used instead as part of the changes planned to Singapore’s Immigration Act.

Read also: Passport-Free Travel Coming To Changi Airport In 2024

Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said in Parliament on Monday (Sept 18) that biometrics will be used for authentication starting from the first half of next year. These include a number of automated steps for departure, such as the bag drop, immigration, and boarding. /TISG