The number of passengers traveling to France is falling after Brexit and the need for extra checks at St. Pancras Station is causing further delays. As a result, Eurostar lowered the number of daily trains to Paris from 18 to 14. The queues at the station make it an unpleasant experience for all travellers.
Eliminating the need for the UK Border check is possible if a trusted system checks and verifies the passport and the passenger in advance. A high security face verification system enables a smooth journey through the checks whilst the passenger is walking in a special lane called SmartCheck. This eliminates the long queues and lowers the time spent at the station.
I designed the mobile app that scans your passport, verifies you using biometric security features and enables to add your ticket, making it easier to access your travel details on the day of travel. The app is called iProov.me and is available to download here.
The user taps the plus icon to add a ticket into the system. I had to come up with a ticket design to communicate the travel information in a clear way and show different states for different use cases. I gathered information from Eurostar about the requirements and communicated all the ideas and designs with their team and decision makers.
After the ticket design was confirmed, I designed different states for the tickets.
3D Designs for onboarding:
I created custom 3D graphics to be used in the onboarding journey. These images were used in various screens when users were asked to scan the passports or face verify themselves.
The physical stand:
The app is only one part of the system. There is also a physical stand with two displays and a camera. I was fortunate enough to be involved early in the project and I joined weekly meetings with the industrial design team to shape the physical stand. The end result is a white metal stand with its own lights, cooling system, battery, speaker and dual displays. Some highlights include an angled base so it is difficult for kids to climb, putting the weight centre as low as possible so it is stable and making it mobile with lockable wheels hidden under the base.
Designing the security displays:
The physical stand has two displays on each side and each has different use case. The back is designed for Security Team only and the front is for passengers. To prevent any confusion, I designed a green square with a tint and a check mark inside for the Security Team to make it very clear when a passenger is good to go.
The passenger side:
I designed the passenger facing screen with a 3D arrow animation and a clear green check mark. Initial tests showed that the animation worked as intended for the end users.
The app and the SmartCheck system have been launched in mid July 2023. The initial feedback is very positive and the future of SmartCheck looks promising. Eurostar will run the system in trial mode until the end of year and if it all goes well, the system will be introduced to Economy Class as well. The press launch was successful and journalists had the chance to test the system in great depth. Here are some positive news coverage about the system: