• Kyodo

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Japan Airlines Co. is testing self-service kiosks that let passengers complete check-in without touching a computer screen as a safeguard against the coronavirus.

Japan Airlines Co. is testing contactless self-service check-in machines with motion sensors that let customers avoid picking up the coronavirus.  | JAPAN AIRLINES CO. / VIA KYODO
Japan Airlines Co. is testing contactless self-service check-in machines with motion sensors that let customers avoid picking up the coronavirus. | JAPAN AIRLINES CO. / VIA KYODO

“We will make every effort so passengers feel safe in this difficult time with the new coronavirus,” a company spokeswoman said.

By using infrared technology to capture finger motion, passengers can manipulate the check-in software while holding their fingers 3 cm away from the screen. The device lets users scroll through text and “press” digital buttons by simply moving their fingers in front of the screen as they would do with a conventional touch-screen panel, according to the airline, which said ground staff are waiting nearby to help.

Two of the touchless kiosks will be available in Tokyo at Haneda Airport’s Terminal 1 during the trial period, which ends on Sept. 15, JAL said.

JAL said it will consider whether to fully deploy the touchless check-in kiosks based on user response and feedback. The device was developed by Mitsubishi Electric Information Systems Corp. and Oki Electric Industry Co.

Fears about the virus have drastically reduced demand for air travel around the world, and JAL said it will operate at 63 percent of its normal domestic flight schedule for September.

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