Funding awarded to design video analytics for TSA checkpoints

The Department of Homeland security is funding the new scheme which is being carried out by California-based firm Deep North

To aid the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implementation of social distancing and other stringent safety measures at airport checkpoints, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) has awarded nearly $200,000 (£141,000) in funding to a start-up tasked with applying video analytics to airport screening processes.

The first phase of its funding went to Deep North – a Californian firm specialising in artificial intelligence.

Deep North is set to use the money to introduce video analytics to airport screening processes, helping to minimise exposure and contact between Transportation Security Officers and passengers.

Photo Twitter/TSA

This initiative creates an opportunity to explore the use of self-screening portals and security checkpoints by TSA’s taskforce. In phase one, the analytics firm have suggested that its existing technology should be augmented to deliver the video platform. This will then be integrated into the self-screening portals, providing an improved experience whilst enhancing security and reducing contact between staff and travellers.

John Fortune, DHS S&T Screening at Speed programme manager, said: “Future passenger self-screening portals are expected to not only keep travellers and TSOs safer in pandemic situations like the one we face today, but also will improve the quality of screening from a security perspective and provide an innovative and convenient experience for airline passengers.”

Using artificial intelligence, the company proposes that patterns and anomalies can be detected in full motion video. This could then allow passengers to progress quickly through the screening process, whilst those needing assistance can be easily identified.

Unlike other contactless airport technology, this system will not use biometric data. Instead, it places a unique identifier on individual passengers as they move through different areas of airport security. Plans have also been proposed to introduce the kit for automated baggage and body scanning software.