Disney Patent Seeks to Ease Airport Security Checkpoint Woes

Disney's Airport Security Screening SystemSometimes it just takes a mouse to build a better mousetrap.

They may never be described as being happy or magical, but if Disney has any say about it, airport security screening areas may become a lot more traveler friendly by addressing checkpoint congestion issues by moving much of the process outside of it.

The existing problem, according to the patent application, is that complying with existing TSA policies is time consuming, with travelers needing to spend most of their time in lines by removing and isolating certain objects from their carry-ons, cleaning out pockets, removing shoes, etc. The process gets exponentially more difficult when families have small children who need additional assistance, slowing down the process and creating a chain-reaction, directly affecting other passengers.

Orlando International, the home airport of Walt Disney World, no doubt sees the worst of this current configuration and the TSA has responded by creating designated lines which are meant to sort out families from single travelers, novices from pros. However noble in its intentions, however, anyone who’s ever passed through the OIA since this program has started has no doubt detected its futility.

Enter patent application 20130069759, ‘Airport Security Screening System and Method.’ Developed by the Walt Disney World Guest Experience team (the folks behind Disney’s Magical Express and Resort Airline Check-in), the propose system moves the angst and pressure from prepping for the TSA security checkpoint by moving it outside the line, where families are able to sort out their items that require special attention before the checkpoint at their leisure, no longer impacting other travelers trying to get through.

In its most complete implementation, the system replaces existing x-ray scanners with new 3D imaging systems with smart software that accept the special, pre-loaded carts. The carts are made of either plastic or ceramic, presumably to not confuse metal detectors, and are configured so that bags can go on the bottom while separate trays are offered for coats, personal or large electronics, liquids, etc. By separating these items into specific, known locations, the imaging security software can then be fine-tuned for optimal performance.

Given completely replacing scanners in airports is a lofty goal at best, the inventors have provided an alternate plan in which the cart’s trays are simply removable, allowing the cart to be completely assembled while negotiating the airport, but then able to break down to retrofit existing scanners. The cart itself is further explained in patent application 20130069326, ‘Airport Divestment and Luggage Cart.’

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