Risk
8/15/2012
05:50 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

TSA Researches Avatars For Airport Security Checkpoints

Agency explores new way to process hundreds of millions of travelers that pass through its security checkpoints each year: helpful, multilingual avatars.

Defense Robots: Fast, Flexible, And Tough
Defense Robots: Fast, Flexible, And Tough
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
More than 375 million air travelers have gone through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints so far this year. The agency is exploring a new way of handling such a crowd: helpful, multilingual avatars.

TSA, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has issued a request for information for a "hologram imaging, computer-generated imagery and video projection" system. The system would be used "to assist passengers in navigating through security checkpoints as efficiently as possible," according to the RFI, which was posted on FedBizOpps.gov earlier this month.

The agency is looking for information on technology able to "speak" in multiple languages, including English and Spanish. The system should capture the attention of travelers, be easy to understand, and "be courteous when communicating to the traveling public," according to the RFI.

The job of these virtual TSA agents would include informing passengers of items not allowed on airplanes, such as firearms, sharp objects, and liquid containers of more than a few ounces. The RFI stipulates that the system not emit anything harmful, such as radiation, or interfere with existing checkpoint systems.

[ Read DARPA Challenge Seeks Robots To Drive Into Disasters. ]

TSA is asking vendors to provide information on products that are available or in development that could fit its needs.

Avatars, some in the shape of a person with hologram imaging projected onto them, are showing up in new places. At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas in July, at least one vendor used a life-size avatar at its booth. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun using an avatar on a kiosk at a border crossing in southern Arizona to interview travelers in advance of interacting with real-life CBP officers, according to Scientific American.

Digital TSA agents are the latest in a series of technologies to be introduced or tested by TSA, which came under criticism for its use of body-scanning technology that some people considered an invasion of privacy.

Earlier this year, the agency began testing a new system that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic.

Separately, TSA issued a request for proposals, valued at $3 million, to purchase 1,000 Macs and 1,000 iPhones, iPads, and iPods, which it planned to use for a variety of purposes, including developing mobile applications.

Contributing writer Dan Taylor is managing editor of Inside the Navy.

InformationWeek Government's GovCloud 2012 is a day-long event where IT professionals in federal, state, and local government will develop a deeper understanding of the options available today. IT leaders in government and other experts will share best practices and their advice on how to make the right choices. Join us for this insightful gathering of government IT executives to hear firsthand about the challenges and opportunities of cloud computing. It happens in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Rubberman
50%
50%
Rubberman,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/31/2012 | 1:06:09 AM
re: TSA Researches Avatars For Airport Security Checkpoints
Ah, the TSA - wasting more of our tax dollars I see! They want Star Trek tech, but don't have a clue how the Internet works...
DataBass
50%
50%
DataBass,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2012 | 8:22:58 PM
re: TSA Researches Avatars For Airport Security Checkpoints
Something like what Dr. Floyd used upon entry to Space Station One in '2001: a space odyssey' but with more personal questions?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3341
Published: 2014-08-19
The SNMP module in Cisco NX-OS 7.0(3)N1(1) and earlier on Nexus 5000 and 6000 devices provides different error messages for invalid requests depending on whether the VLAN ID exists, which allows remote attackers to enumerate VLANs via a series of requests, aka Bug ID CSCup85616.

CVE-2014-3464
Published: 2014-08-19
The EJB invocation handler implementation in Red Hat JBossWS, as used in JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6.2.0 and 6.3.0, does not properly enforce the method level restrictions for outbound messages, which allows remote authenticated users to access otherwise restricted JAX-WS handlers ...

CVE-2014-3472
Published: 2014-08-19
The isCallerInRole function in SimpleSecurityManager in JBoss Application Server (AS) 7, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBEAP) 6.3.0, does not properly check caller roles, which allows remote authenticated users to bypass access restrictions via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-3490
Published: 2014-08-19
RESTEasy 2.3.1 before 2.3.8.SP2 and 3.x before 3.0.9, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6.3.0, does not disable external entities when the resteasy.document.expand.entity.references parameter is set to false, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files and have...

CVE-2014-3504
Published: 2014-08-19
The (1) serf_ssl_cert_issuer, (2) serf_ssl_cert_subject, and (3) serf_ssl_cert_certificate functions in Serf 0.2.0 through 1.3.x before 1.3.7 does not properly handle a NUL byte in a domain name in the subject's Common Name (CN) field of an X.509 certificate, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Dark Reading continuing coverage of the Black Hat 2014 conference brings interviews and commentary to Dark Reading listeners.