It’s called the See3, a new computer facial-recognition system that is likely to be making the rounds at airports in the next few years. Developed by Flight Display Systems, it is believed this technology will add a new level of protection to owners and operators concerned with aircraft security, as well as create more complete cabin services.
Based on the Linus Fast Access facial-recognition software, See3 also makes use of a of a proprietary and expanding set of algorithms. Mounted at the entrance of the aircraft, the system compares the faces of those entering the airplane with a known database and alerts the crew of the entry of one or more unauthorized people.
See3 uses nearly 100,000 values to code a face image, such as the less complex methods of inter-ocular distance, distance between nose tip and eyes, and the ratio of dimensions of the bounding box of the face. And, according to Flight Display founder and president David Gray, changes in hair style or the addition of a mustache or beard, glasses or makeup will not affect the accuracy of the system. At this point, the system’s accuracy is between 75 and 90 percent, but the company continues to add algorithms to improve on this.
However, the camera also presents opportunities to improve on a person’s overall flight experience. As Gray went on to explain, the camera is integrated into the aircraft cabin management system, and can therefore “recognize” a person via the seat camera. It then greets them by name and automatically loads their entertainment preferences, set preferred lighting and even alert the crew to the person’s meal preferences and any allergies.
Score one for personalized high-tech displays on the one hand, or Big Brother-type monitoring and HAL-like computer systems, depending on your point of view. According to Gray, the system could be available within a year’s time on certain major air carriers. No telling when the movie about a creepy AI that takes over an airplane, Space Odyssey-style, will be released. But since I called it first, I’ll be expecting royalties!