Smart trays use innovative tech to link passengers and baggage in security

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London, UK-based tech startup UtterBerry says it has developed a technology to enable the production of smart security trays. The company has revealed it is in advanced talks with major UK airports to roll out the technology from next year, following keen interest from Northern Europe and the Far East. UtterBerry began developing the technology in July 2020 as part of the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) program, a joint initiative between the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home Office.

UtterBerry claims the system will offer greater security and peace of mind for passengers by providing a link between passenger, tray and baggage during the security part of the experience. The development uses a combination of blockchain technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence and miniaturizing hardware for the trays, and can provide a real-time interface to show an overview of the trays in use at a security channel, alongside basic information on passengers that are being checked.

The interface also provides analysis of passenger throughput and factors contributing to delays, such as time of year, weather and flight times. With the integration of the x-ray operatives’ interface, passenger information can also be displayed on the baggage inspection monitors. The data collected from the smart tray system can also predict people numbers, meaning staffing levels can be managed more easily.

It works by issuing a passenger with a smart card, which stores their basic details and flight information; alternatively, a mobile app can be used. A smart card reader on the tray then allows the passenger to link their belongings to the UtterBerry smart tray. When a passenger interacts with the device, an LED will indicate the state of the tray via red, blue and green signals.

Power is transferred to the tray via wireless charging when stacked in a tray return system (TRS), enabling the UtterBerry smart trays to run for long durations without maintenance or downtime.

Heba Bevan, founder and CEO of UtterBerry, said, “We have been thrilled to work on this innovative project, providing a revolutionary security enhancement solution within airports without hindering passenger experiences. The UtterBerry team worked extremely hard to seamlessly integrate novel software and hardware, including our patented blockchain technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence and miniaturizing hardware for the trays. We worked equally hard to ensure we maintained timescales to deliver this project despite the issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We hope this new technology will be adopted within as many airports as possible.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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