Illustrative image (Source:
Hanoi (VNA) - Singapore has started scanning travellers' eyes at some of its border checkpoints, in a trial of the expensive technology that could one day replace fingerprint verification.

According to the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA), the move will be conducted at two checkpoints on its northern border with Malaysia and one at a ferry terminal running services to nearby Indonesian islands.

It is the latest in a series of high-tech initiatives in Singapore, aimed at improving efficiency and security as the threat of militant groups in the region has ratcheted up.

Iris-scanning technology, which has been used in other countries like the US and UK with varying degrees of success, can cost five times more than existing fingerprint systems, according to experts.

The ICA has been collecting iris images from Singaporean citizens and permanent residents when they apply for identity cards or passports since January 2017.

Changi Airport is considering using facial recognition systems to find late passengers. The country also plans to use facial recognition systems in a project to fit cameras and sensors on over 100,000 lamp-posts.

The Singaporean government said these measures are pragmatic ways to improve people's lives and safety and has pledged to be sensitive to privacy.

Authorities are concerned that Singapore will become a target of militant plots, some stemming from Muslim-majority neighbouring countries.-VNA