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The most profound technologies are those that disappear

Popular Science

JetBlue passengers flying from Boston to Aruba can now present a new kind of boarding pass, one impossible to misplace: their faces. In lieu of handing over a paper ticket or summoning up a smartphone version, beach-bound commuters simply walk up to the gate and pause in front of a camera. There, biometric software compares it against databases of passport, visa, and immigration images. If the computer finds a match, a screen at the gate flashes a green check mark--the universal "go" sign meaning you're cleared to drag your wheelie bag and stuffed-animal pillow down the gangway. Biometric boarding probably wasn't what Xerox PARC chief technologist Mark Weiser had in mind when he coined the term "ubiquitous computing" in 1988.