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Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Department of Homeland Security awards funds for new video tools at TSA Checkpoints

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) announced Tuesday that it would be awarding $196,880 to fund a video analytics program for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The funding was awarded to Deep North, a start-up based in Foster City, Calif., for a project that would apply video analytics to the airport screening processes. The new video analytics would help reduce exposure and contact between Transportation Security Officers and passengers.

In Phase 1 of the project, Deep North proposes to add to its existing technology and provide the TSA with a video analytics platform that would integrate into self-screening portals for the next generation screening experience. The platform would improve security, alleviate a burden on TSOs and reduce contact between travelers.

“Future passenger self-screening portals are expected to not only keep travelers and TSOs safer in pandemic situations like the one we face today,” said John Fortune, DHS S&T Screening at Speed Program Manager, “but also will improve the quality of screening from a security perspective and provide an innovative and convenient experience for airline passengers.”

The technology will leverage Deep North’s AI-based video analytics to detect patterns and anomalies in full motion video and give feedback in real-time. The platform will not use biometric data, like facial recognition software, but instead will use a unique identifier to monitor passengers as they move through the airport security screening. The identifiers will expire immediately after they leave the checkpoint, the company said. Additionally, the project proposes integrating with automated baggage and body scanning software to create a full self-service screening solution.

“Deep North has already demonstrated commercial success in the travel and telecommunication industries – at both the global and national level,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP managing director. “There’s a lot of potential impact to be made on TSA’s future screening processes with this project.”