Woman Checkin Airport

If you've ever arrived at the airport only to realize that you've left your passport behind, you know just how much it sucks. Or to accidentally set it down on the baggage belt, or have it stolen while abroad. Such a small booklet holds so much power, deciding whether or not you can board an important (or hugely anticipated) flight. By 2020, though, that may no longer be the case. At least, not in Australia.

Facial recognition software has always been a thing in futuristic movies, but in just three years it's planned to be an actual day-to-day reality for the general public. Those traveling to Australia would no longer be required to show their passports, leaving front-desk work to automated electronic stations instead of the usual immigration officers. While the majority of details have yet to be decided, there is a possibility of filtering passengers through a corridor (rather than through gates) where their biometrics can be recorded without them having to stop. According to an article by The Telegraph, Australia's Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, described it as a "fast, seamless self-processing experience [that would] enable border control officers to concentrate on passengers-of-interest."

Australia is by all means innovative with their technology, but they don't appear to be the first with the software. Earlier this month, the United States announced that facial recognition software would be used at all international airports in the country, with New York's JFK as the first to put it in place. By the sounds of it, you'll soon be able to fly from the US to Australia without a passport at all, but until then, try not to forget it.