Year 2021
March 2021

ICA to fully roll out AR application to train officers to detect forged passports

March 23, 2021
By David Sun

SINGAPORE – The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has developed a training application that uses augmented reality (AR) to help trainees differentiate between genuine and forged passports without the use of actual documents.

The application, which is installed on tablets, currently has a library of 24 genuine and forged passports from 16 countries.

Piloted since December last year, about 50 officers from ICA have used it as part of their Document Examination (Basic) Course, where they study the security features of the digitised passports.

Developed by the ICA Training Command at the Home Team Academy, the application will replace traditional paper-based assessments.

It is expected to be fully rolled out for all trainees taking the course from next month, with an expected 350 officers using it annually.

The passports are digitised down to the finest details, requiring trainees to tilt and move their tablets around to identify the features that determine if a passport is real or forged.

These include micro-text, printing discrepancies and hidden watermarks.

Tools like UV light and a magnifier are also part of the AR experience.

Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Candice Sin, a senior document analyst with ICA, hopes the application will be able to improve training processes.

“This initiative came about because passports generally degrade over time during training, passing through multiple hands,” she said.

“The application means the documents can be preserved, and will also allow for training to be rolled out more efficiently, as all it requires is a tablet and the digitised documents can be replicated across multiple devices.”

ASP Sin, who has been with ICA since 2012, added that the application is not meant to replace the touch and feel examination of documents completely.

She said: “It’s not meant to replace the physical element completely, but will help supplement training. So far, we’ve had pretty good feedback and are looking to scale up the use of the application to other areas, such as refresher training for officers at the checkpoints.”

Sergeant Afiqah Suhaini, who joined ICA two months ago, was among the first batch of trainees taking part in the pilot.

She said the application made training more engaging.

“So the AR actually makes learning more fun and engaging, allowing us to check for the security features in the travel document, similar to the way we would examine a physical passport,” she said.

“I’m proud to be part of the pilot, and look forward to see what other areas will be improved as part of ICA’s digital transformation.”

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Milipol Asia-Pacific New Date
18 – 20 May 2022

Original Event Date: 21-23 July 2021

For several months, the Milipol Asia-Pacific team in Singapore have been diligently working to support our community. Along with the relevant national authorities in Singapore and the wider APAC region, we have been relentlessly preparing the next edition of Milipol Asia-Pacific to be a platform to help recover and to reinvigorate our industry. In this challenging period we have also honed our health and safety procedures and put in place new initiatives so as to ensure the event is as successful and safe as possible.

However, as a result of the evolution of regulations regarding the COVID-19 situation and its consequences such as restricted air travel, we will be postponing Milipol Asia-Pacific to 18 – 20 May 2022.

Rest assured, we will continue to deliver our best and to remain as your preferred partner to this community, so we look forward to seeing you then..