Heathrow tests new 3D technology to enable faster security check

London Heathrow is testing an innovative ‘glasses-free 3D’ technology that that is intended to help reduce the number of prohibited items placed in hand baggage, and therefore offer departing passengers a smooth journey through the UK’s only hub airport.

The airport is running a trial of the new technology in the departure security zone at Terminal 1. Large screens show 3D images of items that are not permitted through security, such as scissors, tweezers and liquids over 100ml.

Passengers are also shown how to dispose of the items in the recycling bins before putting their luggage through the scanner.

In the usual course, if banned items are identified during a scan the bag is rejected and has to be hand searched by a security officer. The new technology will reduce queues at security by cutting down on the number of bags that are rejected for manual search, and ensures that all passengers have a smoother journey.

The technology is provided by New York-based Exceptional 3D’s patented auto-stereoscopic 3D display technology. The trial was launched after being suggested by one of Heathrow’s security officers, Samit Saini. The trial will run for 8 weeks.

Richard Harding, head of IT innovation at Heathrow said: ‘Helping prepare passengers for security saves them time and reduces the chance of having their bag searched. 3D technology is the latest way to help get this message across. Once we’ve analysed the trial’s results we’ll decide whether to expand the technology to the rest of the airport.’

Matthew Young, managing director of Exceptional 3D Europe, added: ‘We’re very excited to be working with Heathrow Airport in an effort to make travelling an even smoother experience. As our business requires us to travel like many others in the world, we know and understand that there is a mild frustration when it comes to unexpected delays. It’s our expectation that this will not only improve the traveller experience but also help minimise delays at necessary and very critical stages of air travel.’