The app to stop you ever missing a plane again : Gatwick Airport

The app to stop you ever missing a plane again: Airport launches Pokemon Go-style map tool that guides passengers to their gates

  • Gatwick Airport has installed beacons that provide an indoor navigation system
  • It enables augmented reality direction assistance for passengers 
  • The positioning system enables reliable ‘blue dot’ on indoor maps 

We’ve all been there – squeezing in a last coffee before a flight then rushing around the airport in a panic in a bid to find the gate as ‘gate closing’ flashes on screens.

Gatwick Airport, it turns out, understands the need for that final beverage, because it’s launched wayfinding technology that could put an end to that panic and prevent you from ever missing a plane again.

It has installed around 2,000 beacons across its two terminals providing an indoor navigation system that is much more reliable, it claims, than GPS, and that enables Pokemon Go-style augmented reality direction assistance for passengers – a world first for an airport.

Gatwick Airport has launched wayfinding technology, pictured, that could mean you'll never miss a plane again

Gatwick Airport has launched wayfinding technology, pictured, that could mean you’ll never miss a plane again

The lack of satellite signals makes road-based navigation systems – such as Google or Apple maps – unreliable indoors, so Gatwick has deployed a beacon-based positioning system to enable reliable ‘blue dot’ on indoor maps, which in time can be used within a range of mobile airport, airline or third party apps.

The beacon system also enables an augmented reality wayfinding tool – so passengers can be shown directions in the camera view of their mobile device – making it easier for passengers to locate check-in areas, departure gates and baggage belts and so on.

The new navigation technology is currently being integrated into some of the Gatwick apps and the airport is also in discussion with airlines to enable the indoor positioning and wayfinding tools to feature on their app services.

Gatwick has installed around 2,000 beacons across its two terminals providing an indoor navigation system that is much more reliable, it claims, than GPS

Gatwick has installed around 2,000 beacons across its two terminals providing an indoor navigation system that is much more reliable, it claims, than GPS

Gatwick has stressed that no personal data will be collected, but that generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones may be analysed to help improve airport operations including queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and reducing congestion.

Airlines could go further – and with the consent of their passengers – may send reminders on their airline app to late running passengers, for example, or find out where they are and make an informed decision on whether to wait or offload their luggage so the aircraft can take off on time.

Retailers and other third parties may also use the beacon system to detect proximity and send relevant offers or promotional messages, if the passenger has chosen to receive them.

The new technology is part of Gatwick’s £2.5billion investment programme to transform the airport.

Abhi Chacko, Head of IT Commercial & Innovation, Gatwick Airport, said: ‘By providing the infrastructure we’re opening the door for a wide range of tech savvy airport providers, including our airlines and retailers, to launch new real-time services that can help passengers find their way around the airport, avoid missing flights or receive timely offers that might save them money.

‘We are proud to be the first airport to deploy augmented reality technology and we hope that our adoption of this facility influences other airports and transport providers so that it eventually becomes the norm.’

The end-to-end ‘indoor blue dot’ service is managed by PointrLabs.

Axel Katalan, CMO at PointrLabs, said: ‘We are pleased to announce that Gatwick Airport will be the first airport with an end-to-end working system with incredible accuracy both in terms of blue-dot location and orientation.

SOURCE / https://tinyurl.com/y835o5zx

 

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Building Millennial Business Traveler Loyalty Through Better Mobile Experiences

Millennials have quickly become a consumer group that corporate travel companies can no longer ignore. They now make up the largest generation in the US workforce, according to Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data, and they’re reshaping overarching trends in the workplace.

In addition to the sheer size of the millennial workforce, this group now takes more business trips than any other generation. A 2016 survey from MMGY Global found that millennials took 7.4 business trips in the past year, compared to 6.4 trips for Gen Xers and 6.3 trips for baby boomers. And many of these younger travelers are eager to increase their travel for business.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, their dependency on mobile is fueling the changes in corporate travel that companies are now grappling with. By not prioritizing mobile experiences, corporate travel companies risk leaving behind this valuable segment of young consumers, who potentially offer decades of loyalty, as well as their older counterparts, who are increasingly booking via mobile.

Millennials have come of age with mobile devices in hand, and they spend more time on smartphone apps than older adults, according to a Q4 2015 study from Nielsen. They’ve become accustomed to performing a growing number of tasks via mobile, from requesting car service, to ordering food, to consuming vast amounts of content, to of course, researching and booking travel.

A study from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that millennials are more likely than baby boomers and Gen Xers to have travel reservations, general travel (e.g. itinerary consolidation and destination information), ground transportation, and review apps on their phones. The fact that millennials are turning to mobile for nearly everything they do—including researching and booking travel for their leisure trips—means that increasingly, they expect the platforms they use for their business trips to match the experiences of consumer-facing travel platforms.

Unfortunately, most corporate travel companies are still working on getting their mobile strategy right—many don’t even have one. Another study released by GBTA, along with the Carlson Family Foundation, found that nearly 70 percent of travel managers who responded to survey questions said their travel policies didn’t include a mobile strategy.

However, as Todd Kaiser, Group Lead of Travel and Expense at Deem, a mobile and cloud technology provider for the business travel industry, explains, “those that embrace mobile and focus on offering seamless, on-the-go experiences throughout the travel journey have the opportunity to show travelers the value of their corporate travel program.”

By offering mobile-oriented services that can stand up to the already-high expectations of millennial business travelers, corporate travel companies are not only likely to stay competitive, but gain long-term loyalty.

Deem recently launched Deem Work Fource, a software suite for booking and managing corporate travel that provides unique solutions for travelers, corporate travel managers, travel management companies and suppliers. To learn more about how Deem Work Fource can improve your corporate travel business, visit Deem’s offerings at https://www.deem.com.

This content was created collaboratively by Deem and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

source : https://tinyurl.com/y7bw9gaa

 

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Gatwick Airport installs 2,000 BLE beacons for augmented reality wayfinding

Gatwick Airport
FLIGHT PATHS: Passengers can now find their way around Gatwick Airport using a BLE beacon system

Some 2,000 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons have been installed across London’s Gatwick Airport to provide an indoor navigation system and an augmented reality wayfinding service so that passengers can be shown directions in the camera view of their mobile device.

The beacon system is also open to retailers and other third parties, allowing them to detect the proximity of consumers and send relevant offers or promotional messages to their smartphones if the passenger has chosen to receive them.

“The lack of satellite signals makes road-based navigation systems such as Google or Apple maps unreliable indoors, so Gatwick has deployed a beacon-based positioning system to enable reliable ‘blue dot’ on indoor maps, which in time can be used within a range of mobile airport, airline or third party apps,” the airport says.

“The beacon system also enables an augmented reality wayfinding tool so passengers can be shown directions in the camera view of their mobile devices, making it easier for passengers to locate check in areas, departure gates, baggage belts etc.”

Integration options

“The new navigation technology is currently being integrated into some of the Gatwick apps and the airport is also in discussion with airlines to enable the indoor positioning and wayfinding tools to also feature on their app services,” the airport adds.

“No personal data will be collected by Gatwick, although generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones may help to improve airport operations including queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and reducing congestion.

“Airlines could go further — and with the consent of their passengers — may send reminders on their airline app to late running passengers, for example, or find out where they are and make an informed decision on whether to wait or offload their luggage so the aircraft can take off on time.”

“By providing the infrastructure, we’re opening the door for a wide range of tech savvy airport providers — including our airlines and retailers — to launch new real-time services that can help passengers find their way around the airport, avoid missing flights or receive timely offers that might save them money,” says Abhi Chacko, head of IT commercial and innovation at Gatwick Airport.

“We are proud to be the first airport to deploy augmented reality technology and we hope that our adoption of this facility influences other airports and transport providers so that it eventually becomes the norm.”

The ‘blue dot’ navigation system is being powered by technology provider PointrLabs.

source : https://tinyurl.com/y84j7m5u

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New Airport Scanners Could End Bans on Laptops and Liquids

Manufacturers of airport security equipment have a message for travelers who fear they will have to give up laptops and tablet computers on international flights: They have a solution.

At least four of the largest companies making screening devices say they are developing scanners so much better at detecting explosives than existing X-ray machines that passengers could leave laptops, other electronics and even liquids in their bags, vastly simplifying airport security.

“It’s a no brainer,” said Joseph Paresi, chief executive officer of Integrated Defense & Security Solutions Inc., which has developed one of the new scanning machines that has passed initial U.S. government testing. “It’s not if. It’s when it’s going to happen.

But the speed with which U.S., European and other security agencies can put them into widespread use remains an open question. After being burned by attempts to roll out new screening equipment in the past — such as having to warehouse hundreds of so-called puffer machines designed to detect explosives because they didn’t perform well in real-world conditions a decade ago — the Transportation Security Administration has instituted multiple layers of performance tests.

And Congress hasn’t appropriated funds for large purchases of the machines. Adding the devices, which list for several hundred thousand dollars each, at thousands of airport security lines in just the U.S. could cost $1 billion or more.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in March banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from airliner cabins on flights from 10 Middle East and North Africa airports to the U.S., citing concerns that terrorists had created ways to conceal explosives in them. Since then, the agency has been considering expanding the ban to Europe — over the objections of the European Commission and air carriers.

At the same time, TSA is conducting tests of closer screening procedures for electronics at 10 U.S. airports with an eye toward expanding them nationwide.

Groups representing airlines and airports say they are hopeful that new technology could ease the need for the new security measures.

“The ban on large personal electronic devices in the cabin has certainly highlighted the importance of governments stepping up their support for more capable checkpoint screening technology to respond to emerging threats,” Perry Flint, spokesman for the International Air Transport Association trade group, said in an interview. IATA represents 265 airlines around the world.

The Laptop Ban and What It Means for Air Travel: QuickTake Q&A

There is optimism over the ability of these machines — which borrow computed tomography or CT scan technology from the medical world to create a high-definition, three-dimension view inside a bag — to address the new threats.

The TSA has tested two of the devices and plans to place one of each in airports later this year to study how they operate in the trying environment of airport security lanes. The devices are built by IDSS and L3 Technologies Inc.

“CT technology has the potential to significantly improve security as well as the checkpoint experience for travelers,” TSA spokesman Michael England said in an emailed statement. “However, while this technology has shown promise, more testing is needed before it can be rolled out nationwide.”

The current X-ray machines at airports shoot two views of a bag or bin, providing TSA screeners a color view of the interior. While superior to earlier generations of X-ray machines, they have their limitations. In tests by government agents, screeners frequently miss weapons and simulated bombs.

Is the Laptop Ban About Terrorism or Protectionism? (Video)

CT machines provide a far more detailed picture of a bag’s contents. A spinning X-ray camera can capture more than 1,000 images of a piece of luggage from different angles, allowing a computer to create a high-definition, three-dimensional view. By calculating the densities of material, even small amounts of explosives can be automatically detected.

The same CT technology is used in machines installed at airports after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to detect explosives in checked bags.

In promotional material, L3’s Security & Detection Systems division said its CT checkpoint scanner could streamline airport screening. The device has a lower false-alarm rate than current X-ray systems, which decreases the need for time-consuming, hand searches of bags, the company said.

Because passengers could leave laptops and other devices in bags, it reduces the number of bins that must be scanned, which also improves efficiency, according to the company.

Smiths Detection Inc., the Smiths Group Plc division that makes security screening devices, is making a CT scanner that it will submit to TSA for testing, company President Dan Gelston said in an emailed statement. The company uses CT technology in its checked-bag screening machines.

More Power

Analogic Corp., a Massachusetts-based company making medical and security equipment, has also developed a CT scanner for airports, according to the company’s website.

While there may be logistical issues installing the new machines, which are heavier than traditional X-ray devices and require more power, airports would welcome an upgrade, said Christopher Bidwell, vice president of security at Airports Council International-North America.

“Computed tomography systems have real potential and should be tested,” he said.

Paresi, who founded IDSS to make this new generation of airport scanners and talks with a preacher’s fervor about their potential, acknowledges that many technical and political hurdles remain before they become commonplace at airports. But he believes an expanding ban of laptops and tablet readers in airline cabins could be a catalyst to speed adoption.

“If you have technology to solve the problem, wouldn’t it make sense to deploy that equipment?” he said.

source : https://tinyurl.com/ya8wwxhs

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Emirates launches ‘Together’ initiative to enhance passenger experience through collaboration

Emirates has launched a new initiative, which brings together all of the airline’s key partners, including Dubai Customs, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai Police, and Dubai Airports.

The “Together” initiative aims to improve the travel experience at the airline’s Dubai International Airport hub. It focuses on the so-called “6s” – Smart, Speed, Saving, Service, Safety and Security.

The first two meetings, held at Emirates HQ, have been successfully concluded. Representatives from each partner organisation reviewed field data on key passenger touch points, and evaluated a raft of recommendations for implementation in the short and medium term.

Matters discussed ranged from simplifying passenger check-in processes and baggage drop-off and tracking, to using advanced technology throughout the passenger journey within the terminal.

Using a collaborative and action-oriented approach, the team, which includes senior representatives from each partner organisation, will now conduct a series of workshops to agree priorities and a working plan, geared towards incremental implementation in four-week sprints.

The working group will also look further into the future, in line with Dubai’s “10X” programme to generate innovations to put the city 10 years ahead of other global cities.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, said: “Last year, over 57 million passengers flew on Emirates, to Dubai or through Dubai, and that number continues to grow. To us, the hub experience and sustaining our growth is very important. Making use of technology and bringing new initiatives to life is key to building our future and staying ahead of competition.

“By working together we have a great opportunity to fast-track these initiatives and overcome challenges to improve the Emirates customer journey at our Dubai hub. We are fortunate and thankful to have very supportive partners who are fully engaged with us on this mission, and share the same vision to ensure the Dubai experience remains leading-edge and world-class. We look forward to working closely with them on the agreed initiatives.”

Emirates Chief Digital & Innovation Officer Christoph Mueller will address delegates at the co-located Future Travel Experience Europe and Ancillary events (26-27 June, Dublin).

Mueller will outline which technologies Emirates is likely to invest in to realise its vision of becoming a leading customer-centric, technology-enabled travel experience enterprise.

Other confirmed speakers include Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary; IAG Director of Strategy Robert Boyle; Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh; Airbnb Head of Customer Experience Aisling Hassell; and AirAsia Chief Data & Digital Officer Nikunj Shanti.

Other organisations confirmed to speak on the future of digital ancillary revenues and customer experience include: GoogleBrussels AirlinesHeathrow AirportExpediaManchester Airports GroupBudapest AirportWizz AirJetBlueXL Airways FranceTUIGatwick Airport and Uber.

source : https://tinyurl.com/yaexamat

 

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SITA unveils new robotic check-in kiosks that can move themselves around the airport

SITA unveils new robotic check-in kiosks that can move themselves around the airport

On the eve of its annual Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, SITA has unveiled KATE, an intelligent, robotic check-in kiosk that it believes will help reduce queues at airports.

Developed by SITA Lab, which explores the future of technology in air travel, it notes that KATE will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.

And the good news is that it uses existing SITA data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.

The kiosks can also communicate through a Cloud service to ensure that the right number of kiosks are at the right position when needed, which SITA assures makes them highly responsive to changes in the airport.

A design patent application for the kiosks is currently underway.
Robot2
Renaud Irminger, director of SITA Lab, said: “The peak and troughs in the flow of passengers presents a challenge to many airlines and airports and we have been approached by many customers requesting a solution.

“They want kiosks which can be easily deployed when and where they are needed. Building on SITA’s successful AirportConnect Open platform, and our previous work with robotics, KATE leverages new technologies to provide operators much more flexibility and efficiency in the way they will use their kiosks in future.”

The cutting-edge robotic kiosk makes use of geo-location technology to find its way through the airport.

And it will use Wi-Fi to connect to vital airline and airport systems, dispensing with the need for cabling or other fixed attachments.
Robot3
This, says SITA, allows the kiosk to move around freely across the airport terminal, using obstacle avoidance technology to avoid bumping into people or things.

KATE and her fellow robotic kiosks will automatically return to their docking stations when they are low on power or need to be resupplied with boarding passes or bag tags.

Says SITA: “One of the key benefits of SITA’s autonomous kiosk is that it can be deployed anywhere inside the airport as well as other offsite locations such as train stations.

“This is particularly relevant during periods of disruption – such as weather delays or flight cancellations – where additional kiosks can be moved from landside to airside to check-in large numbers of rebooked passengers.

“KATE provides passengers access to her easy-to-use interface to check-in and print bag tags.”

KATE follows in the footsteps of LEO, SITA’s fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot launched at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit in Barcelona, Spain last year.
Leo Geneva

source : https://tinyurl.com/k54344n

 

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The 13th ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards

The ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards

recognise excellence and achievement across a whole range of disciplines relating to airport operations. The 2017 award entries will be assessed by a panel of expert judges and key institutional stakeholders. Winners will be announced in front of an audience of 400 Chief Executives and industry leaders as part of the proceedings of the Gala Dinner at the 27th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress and Exhibition 2017 in Paris.

Find out more at : https://tinyurl.com/mvz5zej

 

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