Imagine this future:
You are flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Chicago, Illinois. You walk into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The moment you walk in the front door of the airport, Hartsfield-Jackson knows that you are there. Via your phone, it provides you with your boarding pass, flight updates about your gate, boarding time, and departure time, as well as a map to the security line with the smallest wait time.
As you walk through the airport to your security line, you pass by multiple sensors, scales, cameras, geofences, and scanners. Those sensors are noninvasively tracking crowd flow, identifying you, and searching you and your bags, looking for dangerous materials and banned items. As each of these devices clears you of a security risk, data is sent to a central system that keeps track of each traveler in the airport. When one of these devices reports an extremely high risk, the traveler can be pulled off into a private check room, to verify the traveler is not carrying anything that would negatively affect public safety at the airport.
By the time you reach the security line, almost every security verification has already been completed. This is an opportunity to complete any security validations by hand that the computer system was unable to complete. Or, if you tried to pack a banned item in your carry-on, security can confiscate it.
The security system described above has a huge, positive impact on a traveler’s experience as well as security and public safety. When you consider that approximately 1.73 million people fly on US domestic flights, every day, the positive impact grows exponentially.
The benefits don’t stop with the user experience. Imagine how much security and public safety would be improved through this kind of system at an airport. Dangers could be identified the moment they enter the airport. Not to mention, this would allow all airports, no matter its size or traveler volume, to have the same level and quality of security.
This future is not too far out of our reach. With the proper investments and the intelligent leveraging of IoT technology and emerging security technology, such a future is not unrealistic. We’re just not thinking at this scale. We are still thinking about IoT in terms of fun gadgets, fitness trackers, and smart kitchen appliances. We have to start thinking bigger.