Biometrics and video analytics are changing the cruise experience

A panel discussion on How Emerging Biometric Technologies are Enhancing Security and Guest Experience features at Seatrade Cruise Global on March 7, 2018. A panel discussion on How Emerging Biometric Technologies are Enhancing Security and Guest Experience features at Seatrade Cruise Global on March 7, 2018.

Rapid developments in biometrics and video analytic technologies are changing the cruise experience in new ways according to security experts hailing from both within and outside the industry.

Chris McLaughlin, vp US aviation at Evolv says, ‘Risk based security initiatives that were introduced into commercial aviation earlier this decade have had a meaningful impact on customer processing time and experience, and in the process have strengthened the overall security posture of the sector.’

Using biometrics and information provided through the ticketing process, the cruise industry can adopt a similar strategy, streamlining the embarkation process and ensuring a smooth and secure process for those guests that cruise the most, he remarked.

‘An innovative adversary and evolving threat set have created high demands on today's security professional.  They have to find innovative solutions that leverage the latest technologies while removing friction from the overall process as guest experience remains a high priority,’ he added.

‘The cruise industry, like many others, is implementing biometrics, video analytics, and other exciting technologies on a company by company basis. Early adopters are best discovering ways to implement biometrics and other security measures to increase security and safety and cruise lines are finding ways of improving the bottom line by improving the guest experience,’ commented John Mitchelli, US manufacturer’s representative of ZKTECO.

‘Like a city hotel room, cabin doors need to be secured and equipped with a system to allow credentialed guests and staff to enter. Imagine being able to simply look at the door, have it recognize your face, and allow you access without a key?

‘Administrative and staff areas need to be locked and accessed by authorized staff. Accessing their credentials may be difficult if they have armloads of supplies. They can simply look at the door and it will unlock by facial recognition. Valuables need to be secured and can be done so in high-security situations that require two or more means of identification. Facial recognition, a fingerprint, and a pin number can be used to ensure only authorized access.

These challenges can be handled by a modern biometric entry control solution that can be deployed on cabin doors, staff entrances, and areas containing valuables,’ remarked Mitchelli.

Both McLaughlin and Mitchelli will be joining moderator John Sifling of Broad Reach Maritime LLC, on a panel looking at How Emerging Biometric Technologies are Enhancing Security and Guest Experience during Seatrade Cruise Global on March 7, 2018.

Asked to give an example of an initiative introduced or heard about which has demonstrated that cruising is moving in the right direction, the Evolv executive commented: ‘Taking the friction out of the guest screening process is as much about the customer experience as it is about improving physical security processes.  Implementing technology that recognizes regular, loyal guests and streamlines their screening, adds to their very personal experience.

‘We recently saw Royal Caribbean announce some early work around facial recognition and radio-frequency identification (RFID) baggage tagging. 

‘It's great to see companies like RCC publicly embracing technological innovations that are aimed at taking the friction out of the process,’ noted McLaughlin.

Another example of the cruise industry moving in the right direction, is the “man overboard” challenge, noted Mitchelli.

‘Cruise ships are deploying video analytics to trigger alarms if a passenger falls from a deck. Smart cameras are deployed around the outside of the ship that are programmed with special technologies that can determine if a human has fallen from the ship. This alarm alerts cruise ship authorities immediately so that a rescue can be initiated. With safety and security on travelers’ minds, implementing new technologies to ease their concerns and increase their enjoyment will result in return visits on future voyages and improve the cruise industry’s bottom line.

‘Likewise, introducing technologies, like biometric identification, can increase onboard safety and security while enhancing the traveler’s convenience and overall cruise experience,’ he continued.

Posted 28 February 2018

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd.

Mary Bond

Publisher/Editor in Chief Seatrade Cruise News & Seatrade Cruise Review