Eye-tracking technology helps scanning hand baggage

For more information go to the website of JOA Scanning Technology


It is a permanent annoyance to travellers worldwide: long queues and waiting times at the airport. One of the causes is the time-consuming scanning of hand baggage. The spin-off JOA Scanning Technology has a technology that has been made suitable to significantly accelerate that process at airports.

Recording eye movements

The crux of the solution is eye-tracking technology. A camera follows the eye movements of an employee behind a screen and sees exactly what he is looking at. It started with TNO geologists who wanted to check 3D models of the subsurface. To detect errors in an image, the employee's gaze goes across the computer screen at lightning speed. If you then record the eye movements and analyse them with the computer, it turns out that the places the eye first looks at are also the places where an experienced employee unconsciously knows there is the greatest risk of mistakes.

Faster and more efficient scanning

With this knowledge, the scanning process at the airport can be made much faster and more efficient. The security guard now needs up to 13 seconds to check the contents of a suitcase or bag on the screen. By supporting eye-tracking, that time can easily be reduced by ten seconds. JOA Scanning Technology has built up a huge database with eye-tracking data and is further refining the technology with machine learning techniques.

Fewer false alarms

A quick look at the scan is now sufficient for security checks, because the system immediately recognises deviations in the employee’s gaze. It records whether in the first seconds someone’s eye rests longer on one spot, which can indicate a risk. Suspicious content is detected more quickly.
Finally, it can be determined whether the employee is viewing the screen sufficiently or correctly and the system can be used for monitoring, training and education. These quality improvements also noticeably reduce the number of times baggage is opened unnecessarily.

JOA Scanning Technology has an exclusive licence on TNO’s patented technology. Besides airports, the system is also suitable for scanning trucks or ships and there is interest from the oil and gas industry.