High-tech kiosks speed you through customs in minutes
Some 15,000 passengers arrive at San Francisco Airport's International Terminal each day and now the airport has some high tech help to speed them through customs.
SFO installed 40 self-service kiosks that eliminate the need to manually fill out customs paperwork.
Filling out the form, waiting in line, handing it to an officer, having that information be reviewed.
All of that can happen now in about 90 seconds or less.
At the kiosk, passengers scan their passport, take a picture, and answer questions.
They can also submit fingerprints.
None of the information is stored on the machine.
Passengers then take the print out to a customs officer to review.
The Vancouver AIrport Authority, which developed the machine, says wait times have been reduced up to 89% for kiosk users.
There's a lot of eligible travelers.
US, Canadian passport holders.
People arriving under a visa waiver.
And that's about 35 different countries.
In the coming months, the kiosks will be upgraded to include facial recognition technology.
The automated passport control system is being used in more than 30 airports.
Including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York's J-F-K.
The officers like it because it does speed the process through.
It's a lot easier for them to see the information quickly.
The next big advance will involve your smartphone.
It's a lot easier.
I mean, bringing us up to the modern age.
With electronic applications that can be used on your iPhone or your tablet.
An app tested in Atlanta last year is now also available in Miami, Seattle, and Chicago's O'Hare.
The free app lets passengers Fill out information on their mobile devices, submit it upon arrival and head straight to a customs officer, potentially cutting that wait time even more.
In San Francisco I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com for CBS News.