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Airport Queuing Time Measured With Bluetooth

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the next-line-please dept.

Technology 38

jones_supa writes "Helsinki-Vantaa airport has established a new method of monitoring security control queue times, utilizing phones with Bluetooth enabled. When a passenger passes through security control, the system calculates the time taken to queue and be served based on time stamps registered by the sensors. The plan is to eventually display all queuing times, which will allow busy passengers to decide whether it would be better to move to another checkpoint."

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38 comments

AT LEAST IT'S NOT BLACKTOOTH !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829390)

Not that would be silly !!

Re:AT LEAST IT'S NOT BLACKTOOTH !! (1)

thesh0ck (1983948) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830716)

Scan boarding pass on entry... scan again on exit.... no bluetooth needed. move along.

Re:AT LEAST IT'S NOT BLACKTOOTH !! (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36833918)

But boarding passes don't have uniquely identifying hardware addresses which physically travel with the passenger, regardless of the airport and/or other locations of interest.

In a nut shell, this has absolutely nothing to do with customer service. That's just an uninteresting artifact of their tracking scheme.

Just a friendly reminder (1)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829430)

that if you have bluetooth on, they can track you anywhere.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829472)

that if you have a cellphone on, they can track you anywhere.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (2)

stygianguest (828258) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829938)

With cameras everywhere in airports, they can track you anyway. It should be possible to estimate waiting times based on security camera footage. Seems like a good phd topic, judging queue throughput automatically from camera footage, also for cars. Seemingly harmless topic, job guaranteed in the surveillance industry afterwards.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829794)

If you have a life, people will be able to track you.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (1)

yoblin (692322) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829984)

Well they can also track you if you have a face. Which most of us do.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831800)

That's why I always wear a ski mask when I go out in public. In particular, I find the cameras in banks and airports overly invasive, and I'll wear a stocking underneath the ski mask, just to make sure I can't be identified.

Re:Just a friendly reminder (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 2 years ago | (#36832828)

I saw a sign on a shop in Santa Fe, NM: "please remove ski mask and unload gun before entering shop". or something very close to that.

aha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829484)

so i opened this post thinking it would talk about apple airport. it does not, so i closed it w/o even reading it

Great, for that one single airport (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829512)

While a cool idea, it's merely an extension of manual queue tracking. Give someone a time-stamped card. Record what time they get through the checkpoint, update your ticker system.

This is a great idea, assuming that your airport has multiple security checkpoints to choose from. Every airport I've flown through has one checkpoint per terminal (and no way to switch terminals without re-going through security checkpoints), or a massive single checkpoint for all terminals.

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829694)

I'm not sure of the savings.

I can spend an hour in this checkpoint, or I can drag my shit half an hour to the next one and spend half an hour there, then drag my shit half an hour back here because this is where my gate is...

Moot point. Fuck flying.

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

eh2o (471262) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829994)

I went through YUL (Montreal) a couple weeks ago and they had security drones with wireless barcode scanners checking boarding passes at every identifiable stage of the queue. By the time I got through security my boarding pass had been scanned no less than 12 times, which was a rather annoying experience. One of the drones said this was being done to measure time between different parts of the process.

So thats manual queue tracking on crack or something, but point being people are already conveying unique-id tracked pieces of paper...

Re:Great, for that one single airport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36832084)

having it checked 12 times sounds like it would make an queue of it's own just to check them. helsinki vantaa on the other hand in my experience hasn't had queues worth mentioning ever.

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36833252)

I went through Las Vegas airport last week and they did exactly that. Gave me a card before I joined the security line and took it back from me when I got through. Seems like a simple solution.

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36835414)

While a cool idea, it's merely an extension of manual queue tracking. Give someone a time-stamped card. Record what time they get through the checkpoint, update your ticker system.

This is a great idea, assuming that your airport has multiple security checkpoints to choose from. Every airport I've flown through has one checkpoint per terminal (and no way to switch terminals without re-going through security checkpoints), or a massive single checkpoint for all terminals.

You must fly through pretty craptacular airports. Which ones do this to you?

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 2 years ago | (#36835556)

Every airport that I've been through security checks, for example:

US: LAX, JFK, Denver, Dulles (D.C.), San Diego, San Jose, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Long Beach
International: Heathrow, Hong Kong

I'd say that's a pretty good mix of both large international and smaller domestic airports built over a pretty wide range of time periods too.

Re:Great, for that one single airport (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36906598)

You go through security once at Denver, and then get to all terminals (unless it's changed recently).

JFK? Yeah, well - there's a craptastic airport for you (as is DCA).

This is already used on vehicle traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36829788)

Just google for "traffic queue bluetooth".

A fine idea... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829814)

Until someone opens up a cellphone store just outside the security line... all those phones in the store sitting with bluetooth on and never quite making it past security, the average queue time will skyrocket.

Or until Security Theater (also known as Theater Securite' Abominable, or TSA) realizes that anyone with a cell phone turned on in the line can take surreptitious photos and videos of the screening process and therefore all cellphones must be turned off while in the security line... just as they must already be off while in customs and immigration areas.

Did it really take this kind of measurement to realize that travellers with kids might need a special line? This is in Finnland, wasn't it? Are the Finnish TSA really as dumb as the USA ones?

Re:A fine idea... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#36829948)

There is only one country ignorant (stupid?) enough to saddle itself with TSA. That country isn't Finland.

Re:A fine idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830114)

Oh, there are more than one, they just didn't find a reason (or excuse) to implement their own TSA.

Re:A fine idea... (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830412)

The last time I flew threw customs nobody mentioned anything about turning off my cellphone. Granted, I was coming back from Canada, but nobody mentioned it.

Queue times (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830268)

It's not the only application for measuring times in a queue, or other travel-related information. Transportation engineers have started using bluetooth MAC addresses for transit travel times, passenger car travel times, time-in-queue at toll booths, et c. Here's [google.com] a google search on the subject, if you're curious.

HEL could improve most of their security (1)

dingram17 (839714) | more than 2 years ago | (#36830604)

The security staff at HEL are the most over zealous I have ever encountered (mind you, I've never been the USA). This is the only place that I've had to remove my handkerchief and some paper serviettes from my pockets during a pat-down and then have the snot-rag and paper x-rayed.

The security screeners seemed keen to touch-up anyone that set off the metal detector, and the queues were quite long with the backlog

Re:HEL could improve most of their security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36830850)

The security staff at HEL are the most over zealous I have ever encountered (mind you, I've never been the USA). This is the only place that I've had to remove my handkerchief and some paper serviettes from my pockets during a pat-down and then have the snot-rag and paper x-rayed.

The security screeners seemed keen to touch-up anyone that set off the metal detector, and the queues were quite long with the backlog

I'm from the US and just took a trip to Europe.. I went through security at 4 airports in Europe (Helsinki-Vantaa, Tallinn, Prague, Asterdam). HEL was comparable to the other European airports and honestly the only difference was that in US you have to take off your shoes and you get an x-ray instead of a metal detector. I took off my shoes in Europe anyway because the only shoes I brought were my steel toes.

Re:HEL could improve most of their security (1)

dingram17 (839714) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831068)

At HEL I needed to take my boots, belt and watch off. The boots are leather RM Williams boots (an Aussie icon), but not steel capped. Going through scanners in Australia in NZ I didn't need to take any of that off. After my welcome experience to Europe at HEL I took watch/boots/belt off each time, but still had some triggering of the metal detector at OSL (50% of the time) so the waved me through. Was it the rivets on my Levis? Taking the train between cities was so much easier!

Re:HEL could improve most of their security (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | more than 2 years ago | (#36831360)

Like you said, you've never been to the U.S. They'll rifle through you're wallet with nary a second thought. Hankies are the least of your worries.

Re:HEL could improve most of their security (3, Insightful)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 2 years ago | (#36832850)

I used to travel to the USA four times a year for ten days or more per trip. I've reduced that to once or twice; cost to the US economy at least $2500 per trip (internal flights, hotels, car rental, restaurants, entertainment), because I hate being treated as a criminal. I am almost certainly not the only one, overall cost to the US economy must be in the many millions.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36831988)

This tech has been around for a while. It has been deployed successfully in a couple of airports in Germany for a while.

In Hamburg, passengers are informed with signs that their Bluetooth MACs are being collected unless they decide to opt out by turning off Bluetooth during their time in the queue.

http://www.airlinetrends.com/2010/03/30/cell-phone-security-waiting-times/

Re:Old news (2)

mooglez (795643) | more than 2 years ago | (#36832484)

The original news article about this (in finnish) actually mentions that this is the same method already in use at some other european airports.. but I guess someone wanted to post this as a "new and interesting" item in Slashdot.

Allow ... move ?? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 2 years ago | (#36862194)

which will allow busy passengers to decide whether it would be better to move to another checkpoint."

what is this about allowing people to choose which line they're going to stand around to go through. Most airports, certainly most larger airports, you're waved into a channel and that's the one you're going through. Switching lanes is most explicitly not allowed. Full stop, end of ergument, or the police officers with the sub-machine guns are going to be talking to the back of your head while you kiss concrete.

Maybe Finland is more civilised. But if the Finns have direct air links with Paranoia Centre (the USA, and they know that it's their own fault that many people want to kill them), I doubt they'll be allowed to be civilized.

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