What does this mean for Registered Traveler?
One question raised by the joint venture announced by Smiths Detection and GE Homeland Security is how the respective companies' relationships with competing factions in the Registered Traveler program will be affected. Smiths Detection is a partner in the FLO Alliance, headed by Saflink, while GE has invested $16 million in Steve Brill's Verified Identity Pass program.
So, how will those relationships be affected?
"I don't think we're at a point where we've sorted it all out," said GE vice chairman Lloyd Trotter, "but we'll have some fun figuring out solutions to it."
"It's a whole new business mode," said Louis Jordon, president of GE Security ... I think we can have a lot of fun with that. It takes the burden off the government, and it also gives us an opportunity where we can test new technologies in various scenarios."
Luke Thomas, vice president of the Registered Traveler program at Saflink, said it will be "business as usual, in the short term, but I'm certainly viewing it as a positive ... We have a great relationship with Smiths." Thomas described Smiths as very involved with the FLO Alliance, specifically mentioning their valuable relationship with the TSA. He didn't want to comment too widely before the venture was finalized, but he said it has the potential to "expand the possibilities" of the FLO Alliance, and "Smiths is in the driver's seat."