Your face is the key at new airport gates

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 12 Apr 2019

Forget QR codes. Hong Kong airport officials are set to launch a revolutionary new boarding pass system: your face.

Old way to travel: airport staff handle your passport and boarding pass at check-in, restricted area entry point, immigration and boarding gate.

New way: robot entry gates recognize your face and let you pass at every stage.

They can even play audio files too: "Hello again, Mr Chan, lookin' good; come on through!"

Hong Kong Airport Authority staff is testing a faces-only system to steal the "world's best airport" crown from Singapore's Changi.

The Hong Kong team has already launched three innovations at Chek Lap Kok.

1) You can now use your phone to find a car parking space and reserve it before you get to the airport.

2) An app called iBeacon means that you lift your phone and look through it to see all the signs inside the airport building in your home language.

3) You don't have to stand waiting at the baggage carousel any more. Go sit and relax - a special luggage tag will tell you when your bag has been spewed out of the system.

Next: a massive airside shop selling chewing gum would put those smug Singaporeans in their place.

Go, Hong Kong!

* * *

My children were asking what the protesters on the news were shouting about so I said everyone's really angry over rumors that some youngsters didn't eat their vegetables.

* * *

Much sniggering at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club over the excessive length of the new anti-harassment rule, which bans speech that may offend a person "on the basis of appearance, gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, physical size or weight, age, marital/ family status, nationality, language, ancestry or place of origin".

"We're professional editors - it's shameful we can't edit it down a bit," said a life member who did not want to give his name.

One suggested replacement is just three words long: "Play nice, people."

* * *

The Hong Kong government has issued a helpful book for those who are unhappily pregnant, explaining that both adoption and abortion services are available.

"The only worrying thing is the cover," said reader Nina SY Chui. "Humans don't actually lay eggs, do they?"

* * *

Our suggestion of Domestic Helper: The Movie has been rejected. The film about Hong Kong helpers will be titled Hello, Love, Goodbye, it was revealed on Wednesday.

This is bad. The helper community is truly fascinating, 98.5 percent female, with all sorts of gripping internal politics and dynamics - but we worry that the Manila moviemakers will miss all this and just churn out a crass boy-girl love story. Boo.

* * *

Sammi Cheng proved this week that she is queen of Cantopop, selling 70,000 concert tickets in a few hours on Tuesday. For the sake of comparison, the crowd at the Rugby Sevens last weekend was 44,000. Sammi has now played so many nights on the stage at the Hong Kong Coliseum (around 90) that she might as well just live there. Stick a bed and a toilet on one side.

* * *

Here's a helpful tip for modern men (inspired by US politician Joseph Biden): If you're behind a woman at an ATM in a dark, lonely place, show her you're not dangerous by planting a long slow kiss on the back of her head.

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