007 Doesn't Check In — Why Should We?

Illustration for TIME by Kenichi Nakane

You have to make a quick trip abroad. En route from the office, you book yourself on a flight using a device the size of a cigarette pack. As you stride into the airport, a camera zooms in on your face and compares your features with those stored in its database. Voila! You're checked in.

With the twin aims of improving security and eliminating ever-increasing waits at airports, airlines and customs departments are starting to turn to Spy vs. Spy technologies. "Identifying people remotely," says Dominic Purvis, manager of cathaypacific.com, "would allow the staff to focus more on service." With the number...

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