The Transportation Security Administration is slowly testing a system that will check boarding passes and IDs by machine, instead of relying on an officer’s visual check before you enter the security line.
The system is being slowly unveiled, with Washington-Dulles International Airport becoming the first guinea pig last week. George Bush Intercontinental in Houston starts this Tuesday, and San Juan in Puerto Rico will start later at the end of the month.
The whole testing phase is expected to last several months before any firm decision on a full system roll-out ensues. The TSA will be gauging the machines’ accuracy and efficiency.
The first 30 machines, which cost $3.2 million and were customized for the TSA, are designed to recognize all forms of identification. It’s all in an effort to spot fake documents faster and easier. “For efficiency, it is fantastic,” Domenic Bianchini, TSA director of checkpoint technology, told USA Today. “We think it’s a valuable technology, and we think over time we will see the real value added.”
Any discrepancy, of course, will get you the full human treatment.