Virtual fish to replace airport security checks in Dubai
Next year Dubai Airport is going to use virtual fish to verify your identity. Yes really.
In a bid to speed up processing the airport will launch a "walk-through" scanner which will replace security clearance counters.
The tunnel will display high-quality images of an aquarium and will be fitted with up to 80 cameras.
Passengers will be distracted by the virtual fish while having their biometrics taken.
"The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller," Major General Obaid Al Hameeri, deputy director general of Dubai residency and foreign affairs, told The National.
"But, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his or her face print."
Travellers will need to be pre-registered to pass through the tunnel, so face-scanning kiosks will be set up around the airport.
Passengers will get a green light at the end of the tunnel if all goes well, otherwise a red alert will notify security.
The visuals can be changed to various backdrops.
Dubai is already the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, with more than 83 million travellers passing through it last year. But that is expected to rise to 124 million by 2020.
"The tunnel has not come out of nowhere, without any foundation," said Al Hameeri.
"We have been working for about four years to transform the procedure from the traditional counter and in the future we will not need the counter at all."
The "virtual border" will be installed by the middle of next year at Terminal 3 with plans to roll it out at other terminals.