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Emerging Tech in Airports

Emerging Tech in Airports

Air travel has become the most favored and convenient mode of long distance travel with the 20 busiest airports in the world moving more than 700 million travelers last year.

Meanwhile airports are becoming more than a gateway for people to travel through on their way to their destinations. Today, airports offer hospitality services, duty free shopping and dining experiences to billions of travelers who walk through their doors. Airports are leveraging technology to engage with travelers passing through their facilities to provide customized and seamless services.


Airport.png

Chatbot

AI based chatbots enable airports to engage autonomously with travelers. Chatbots provide travelers with flight information and directions to and within the airport. Travelers can also receive suggestions regarding in-airport services such as restaurants, shopping and other facilities, etc.

Chatbots interact with customers in a human like manner providing a seamless experience. The chatbot learns customer preferences and provides customized services and suggestions.

Frankfurt Airport uses a Facebook chatbot to provide customers with flight updates and information on in-airport restaurants, shops and other facilities. British Airways has also launched a Facebook chatbot enabling users to find exclusive deals and personalized recommendations in London.

Robotics

Robotics has emerged has a customer facing technology providing assistance to travelers in every aspect of their journey.

Airports use autonomous robots to provide travelers with a seamless experience by providing baggage check-in services and guiding travelers to their boarding gates. Robots also help with the maintenance of the airport by cleaning the airport regularly as well as on demand.

Seoul's Incheon Airport has deployed LG's airport guide robot to guide travelers to their boarding gates and an airport cleaning robot to clean the airport. Similarly, KLM is using a socially aware robot called Spencer to scan traveler's boarding passes and guide them to their departure gates by travelling with them at their pace.

Biometrics

Biometric authentication is being used in various airports to verify the identity of travelers and automate processes based on traveler biometrics. Some applications of biometrics in airports include online check-ins, baggage drops and validation of boarding passes.

Dubai International Airport is set to integrate a virtual tunnel with facial recognition technology to speed up security checks while Auckland Airport is using biometrics to automate baggage drops.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality enables airports to engage with travelers by providing information regarding the facilities available while learning customer preferences to provide a personalized experience.

Airports can provide flight information through signposts and billboards, directions to facilities and gates and information regarding in house facilities to travelers through augmented reality. It is also being used by airports ground staff to view baggage details of handled bags.

Indoor Positioning System

Beacons enables airports to monitor the movement of travelers within the airport premises and provide information regarding flight updates, baggage status and directions within the airport. The airport can also provide customized offers for travelers in the vicinity of service provider within the airport. Beacons also help airports to track staff on the premises and manage their deployment.

Miami International Airport is improving traveler experiences by providing personalized updates, directions and suggestions based on their location through a contextually aware app while Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is using a beacon-enabled app to send contextual retail information and promotional offers to travelers based on their location in the terminal.

Conclusion

Airports are set for a major overhaul to engage with the large number of travelers passing through their gates. Many airports are already experimenting with new technologies to provide a seamless and personalized travel experience to travelers.

References:

1.       https://diytravelhq.com/why-airport-hotels-important/

2.       https://www.virgin.com/travel/are-airports-most-important-hubs-world

3.       http://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2017/01/7-technologies-that-airlines-and-airports-should-be-focusing-on-in-2017/

4.       https://w3.accelya.com/blog/5-airline-technology-trends-that-will-fly-higher-in-2017

5.       http://www.digitalistmag.com/customer-experience/2017/08/14/emerging-technology-in-airline-industry-05226935

6.       http://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2016/01/5-technology-trends-that-airlines-and-airports-should-be-prepared-for-in-2016/

7.       https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/26374/technology-revolutionise-aviation-2017/

8.       http://www.otrams.com/blog/trends/airline-technology-trends-2017

9.       https://www.netscribes.com/technology-trends-airline-industry/

10.   http://www.futuretravelexperience.com/2016/11/british-airways-launches-facebook-chatbot-with-personalised-offers/

11.   https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/21/16007680/lg-airport-robot-cleaning-guide-south-korea-incheon

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