Clear wants to turn your identity digital and your future frictionless
The biometrics company uses fingerprints, eyes and faces to streamline and secure your experience at airports and stadiums across the U.S.
If there’s anything New Yorkers — and most people, we presume — hate, it’s waiting. We loathe lines at the airport, sporting events, grocery stores, train platforms … you get the idea. But one company’s mission hopes to take you from the lines to getting where you need to go seamlessly.
In fact, Clear, a New York-based technology company, has already gotten started doing just that with its biometrics-based identity platform that's being used by more than 1 million members at six stadiums and 21 airports across the U.S., with Los Angeles International Airport becoming No. 22 at the end of this month.
“We verify our members’ identity, digitize that identity and turn it into a digital token,” Clear Chief Administrative Officer David Cohen told Metro. “We take the biometrics — their fingerprints, their eyes and a high-resolution facial photo — and that becomes the key to their verified identity.”
Dedicated Clear lanes, which allow members to sail through much of the security-screening process, can be found in New York at JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, as well as Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.
Though it’s not usable for train and subway travel, yet, a Clear enrollment pop-up kiosk will be in the Graybar Passage of Grand Central Terminal near Track 17 through the end of July.
With Clear in five MLB stadiums and one NBA arena, Cohen said the company is “having conversations” with venue operators and leagues “all over the place” and hopes to move beyond airports and arenas.
“We’d like a time in the very-near future to give you the opportunity to use Clear not only to get into the stadium, but buy concessions or your beer with your biometrics,” he said.
Beyond that, Cohen said Clear wants us to imagine a world where we can walk thorough the store and pay for items as we put them in our cart or not be asked a zillion ID-related questions when picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy.
“Anytime where you have an opportunity to replace that friction where you have to take something out of your wallet, biometrics is a secure, fast, more-efficient way to make life easier,” Cohen added. “We’ll be rolling out that technology very soon.”
Since we’re sure you have questions about biometrics and exactly what Clear does for its members because science, here’s a quick primer:
Biometrics is data based on human characteristics such as fingerprints, eyes and faces. Since they are unique to you, they are more secure than a PIN or ID or credit card.
Once you become a member, which takes less than 10 minutes, you can go up to a Clear kiosk, tap your finger or get an eye scan, and breeze past the long ID check lines right to screening.
(Clear has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology.)
Clear costs $179 per year, and the company often runs promotions for new members and has member perks through partner companies. New Yorkers who sign up at Grand Central will get two months free membership.
Clear’s Grand Central kiosk will be open through the end of July from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
For more info on the company, visit clearme.com.