New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is trialling new hologram technology at Auckland International Airport to educate international travelers about the importance of biosecurity at the border.
The display will show a 3D display of prohibited items, initially focusing on fruit carried inside luggage. The display then follows a hitchhiking fruit fly and the potential damage that it could do to an orchard and the fruit industry.
Brett Hickman, manager of detection technology for MPI, said, “This is an experiment to test if new technology can be used as a communications tool to reach the public more effectively than our current static signage at the airport.
“The concept here is to create an eye-catching display that really grabs the attention of arriving passengers. So not only will it be a communications tool, it has a practical use for collecting last minute items that aren’t allowed into the country.”
The hologram display will be housed on top of a purpose-built unit that doubles as an amnesty bin for visitors to dispose of any potential biosecurity risk goods they may still be carrying in hand luggage. It will undergo a six-month trial at the airport in a range of locations within the arrivals area. MPI will monitor how many people stop to look at the display, as well as how much biosecurity material is placed into the unit’s amnesty bin to understand the project’s viability.
This is the first initiative to be launched under MPI’s Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) Practice. The RTI Practice has been established by MPI to test emerging technologies. The hologram is the first of several concepts to be taken to prototype stage for testing.