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British airlines look into passengers' eyes

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways plan to launch a biometrics trial Friday that could see up to 2,000 people zip through immigration at London's Heathrow Airport. The trial tests iris-recognition technology administered by EyeTicket and the International Air Transport Association. "The objective of the trials is to facilitate an easier experience for the passenger as they pass through immigration at Heathrow," said Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman Wendy Buck. "It's such a secure way of identifying a person." The technology, dubbed JetStream, identifies passengers by the pattern of their irises. A digital camera captures images of a passenger's eyes, then EyeTicket's technology connects the iris pattern to a passport number or frequent-flier number so that airport and airline computers can identify the passenger. McLean, Va.-based EyeTicket licenses its iris-recognition technology from New Jersey-based Iridian Technologies.

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways plan to launch a biometrics trial Friday that could see up to 2,000 people zip through immigration at London's Heathrow Airport. The trial tests iris-recognition technology administered by EyeTicket and the International Air Transport Association. "The objective of the trials is to facilitate an easier experience for the passenger as they pass through immigration at Heathrow," said Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman Wendy Buck. "It's such a secure way of identifying a person."

The technology, dubbed JetStream, identifies passengers by the pattern of their irises. A digital camera captures images of a passenger's eyes, then EyeTicket's technology connects the iris pattern to a passport number or frequent-flier number so that airport and airline computers can identify the passenger. McLean, Va.-based EyeTicket licenses its iris-recognition technology from New Jersey-based Iridian Technologies.