Bye Smartgate, Hello Facial Recognition

Bye Smartgate, Hello Facial Recognition
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The Smartgate tech that has made the process of entering the country relatively easy is going to be replaced. The new technology will mean you won’t need to present a passport as you arrive into the country. The project will cost about $22.5M and deliver 105 new gates to our airports.

Following on from arrival cards going the way of the Dodo, you won’t need to present your passport as you return into the country. Canberra will get the Vision-Box tech first with other cities to follow. The target is for 90% of border clearances to happen automatically by 2020.

Speaking to the Seven Network, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton said “The idea of this will be through new technology that is using facial recognition that in some cases if you’ve got a passport that can be read you won’t even have to present the passport”.

With immigration getting its act together to get people through customs faster, the next thing that needs to happen is getting luggage out to passengers faster and for the final bio-hazard queues to clear faster.

On my last few trips overseas, I’ve managed to clear passport control and be standing at the luggage carousel within 15 minutes of landing. Then I wait at least 15 minutes for the baggage carousel to start and then hope my bag arrives quickly in a game I like to call “Bag Lotto”.

Then, at least at Melbourne, there’s another queue that often snakes around carousels and can take another half an hour to navigate.

Hopefully, those challenges can be overcome to make it easier for travellers to exit airports quickly.


  • *arrival cards going the way of the dodo

    As in extinct, like the Dodo bird. I have no idea what going the way of a “do-do” means… It’s pronounced entirely differently tho. Do you mean ‘going the way of [a nice way of saying poop]’?

  • Won’t work for children. My kids all have passports with photos of them as babies. Faces look very different now.

  • Anthony, I think you are referring to the departure card going the way of the Dodo, the arrival card is frustratingly still in existence.

    • Departure cards are already gone. Arrival cards will also be dispensed with next year.

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