San Antonio virtual asistant helps cut security lines

First known installation of an avatar for use in TSA pre-check security screening

San Antonio International Airport has introduced two virtual assistants to help passengers.

Similar to a hologram, the virtual assistant is a projected video image that is activated when a customer approaches or passes.

Among the first airports to feature the virtual assistants, San Antonio has two – both in Terminal A security lines, one each in General Boarding and Pre-Check lines. Each avatar’s messages are scripted fully in English and in Spanish and alternate when activated.

Messages are tailored appropriately to General Boarding and TSA pre-check security screening and include information about proper identification, divesting, items to be placed in bins and prohibited items.

The specific objective of the program is to deliver a clear and consistent message that prompts passengers to prepare for security, prior to reaching the security screening point, expediting the security screening process for passengers and freeing up TSA staff for more important tasks.

How it works

Similar to a hologram, AVA, the Advanced Virtual Assistant, is an Avatar that activates when a customer approaches or passes.

Each of San Antonio’s virtual assistant is 5’6” tall with a life-size image of the presenter digitally projected onto an inch-thick glass screen coated with a state-of-the-art film.

The virtual assistant location in each line corresponds to the spot in the checkpoint’s queue where passengers begin to stand, during peak times.  The device uses motion sensors to prompt Eva’s 90-second scripts when a customer is within 30 feet.

Virtual assistants at other airports

Only a handful of airports in the U.S. have introduced similar virtual assistants, including Washington Dulles, Boston Logan and LaGuardia, Newark and Kennedy.

Outside of the US, London Heathrow and Dubai have virtual assistants.

According to the virtual assistant manufacturer and producer, SAT is the first known installation of an avatar for use in TSA pre-check security screening.

N.B. Image credit: San Antonio International Airport

Internet links

San Antonio International (SAT)