Airlines Look to Beacons to Improve their Internet of Things Infrastructure

Aviation technology firm SITA reports in its latest Airline IT Trends Survey that 44% of airlines will leverage beacon technology to improve their services and connections with customers by 2018.
Most airlines currently use beacons in the check-in area, in transit zones and in certain areas of the airport where passengers gather. The most common use of beacon connections by airlines is to transmit flight and gate updates to customers through the airline’s app.
Other uses of beacon connections, less common today, will increase over the next three years, SITA projects. These include enhancements to way finding, information for baggage collection, estimated time to get to the gate, and offers on duty-free shopping.
beacon 3
Projected growth of airline beacon applications. Source: SITA Airline IT Trends Survey 2015.
Of these possible applications, way finding finding will take the lead growing from 8% of airlines using beacons to enhance this feature to 57% of airlines doing so by 2018.
While aviation is still developing its Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, SITA believes it will mature quickly, increasing the amount of data available for airlines and airports to analyze.
As SITA reports in its 2015 survey, 86% of airlines believe the IoT will provide “clear benefits over the next three years.”
Only 16% of airlines are planning a major project in this area today, but up to 41% will make investments in Research and Development, says SITA.
Miami International Airport, for example, implemented a comprehensive network of beacons last year, and American Airlines announced that it would work with Dallas Fort Worth Airport to increase the services it can offer customers with a roll-out of multiple beacons at Terminal D. Japan Airlines ran trials of beacons, at Haneda airport’s domestic Terminal 1, to coordinate staff where they were most needed; pairing iBeacons with smartwatches to let gate agents know where they were most needed.
SITA believes the first area where passengers will benefit from airlines’ beacon and IoT projects will be at the check-in desk; 42% of airlines report that this is their top priority and 56% of airlines say it is among their top-three priorities for IoT passenger improvements.
The challenge for airlines and airports alike, SITA states, is to find the best means of connection, and the right level of proximity, for each application.
“Proximity sensing is poised to have a major impact on industry operations,” says Renaud Irminger, Director of SITA Lab.
The various technologies used in geolocation and proximity readings, including Bluetooth technology, Near Field Communications and Wi-Fi connections complicate the decision-making process as airlines and airports try to avoid potential signal interference.
For maximum benefit to the aviation infrastructure, airlines and airports will also need to get comfortable sharing data gathered with each other, which requires the establishment of policies and systems to support such data exchange.
To make such data exchange easier, SITA has established a Common Use Beacon Registry, which avoids individual airlines trying to establish separate beacon networks at the same airport. Beacons will gather data under “a common form of data sets based on industry standards,” says SITA.
Taking the lead in SITA’s Common Use Beacon Registry are American Airlines and Miami International Airport, along with a select group of others around the world.
“These are the early days,” says Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer at SITA in a recent report for the air transport industry, “but with the IoT becoming a reality, we can look forward to a game-changing and real-time revolution in the way we do things.”
Via: Skift

People get Pampered with RFID

KPN, a provider for Internet/TV/Mobile spoilt consumers during their “All Inclusive weeks”. KPN treated passers-by in Amsterdam with a one day all-inclusive campaign. Hostesses on site distributed RFID bracelets that could be used at 5 different locations in Amsterdam, for people to get rewarded with 5 different treatments.
On Saturday 20th September only, people were pampered like never before. Each of the five locations selected for this media first campaign had a special tag on which passers-by could tap using a RFID bracelet previously distributed by hostesses to activate the rewards.
Location one distributed delicious Macaroons.
Location two distributed fresh fruit juices.
Location three gave people the chance to have their own personal assistant carrying their shopping bags to their next location.
Location four allowed people to enjoy a foot massage!
Finally, the fifth and last location gave people the incredible chance to have their very own private drivers bringing them back home… for free!
[youtube width=”300px” height=”200px”]4VmkTkJZR7c[/youtube]
Via: JCDecaux One World

UPC WiFi Spots

UPC introduced 500,000 free WiFi spots in the Netherlands.
A famous Dutch celebrity, Johny de Mol, supported the campaign TV commercial. In front of the UPC stores passersby were invited to sit on the couch (the same couch from the UPC television commercial) and have a photo with a digital Johny. Participants could then win the couch and were immediately registered for the UPC WiFi spots.

Coca-Cola Tests Wi-Fi Vending Machines

Coca-Cola is availing itself of the growing trend toward Wi-Fi use by smartphone owners with a new strategy to enable wireless connectivity through its branded vending machines.
The Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines are being tested by Coca-Cola and British Telecom in two communities in South Africa. The strategy is the latest example of how Coca-Cola continues to lead the way in mobile marketing by coming up with clever ways to tie its brand to consumers’ love of their smartphones.
Community support
The goal of the new vending machine program is to provide free Wi-Fi to nearby students to increase their knowledge through online research as well as to entrepreneurs and small business owners so they can manage some of their business aspects online.
Coca-Cola previously leveraged mobile payments to simplify purchasing a beverage from one of its vending machines.
The Wi-Fi vending machines are located in Umtata and Nelspruit. They are the result of a partnership between Coca-Cola South Africa, bottling partner Coca-Cola Fortune and BT Global Services.
Coca-Cola is installing the coolers while BT is providing design and support, connectivity and Internet access, as well as business training.
Both vending machines are located in popular areas that see a lot of foot traffic so that the local population can combine day-to-day activities with the opportunity to access the Internet.
No purchase is required to access the Wi-Fi.
Both companies hope to extend the project and install Wi-Fi coolers in various parts of South Africa.
Wi-Fi growth
A recent report from Adobe revealed that over 50 percent of smartphone browsing and 93 percent of tablet browsing now come from Wi-Fi rather than cellular networks.
The trend toward Wi-Fi is expected to continue as Wi-Fi becomes more widely available and high data prices on mobile networks persist.

TfL Tests Free WiFi on London Buses

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a free WiFi trial on two buses operating in the capital.
The trial will see WiFi technology installed on a route 12 bus, operating between Dulwich and Oxford Circus, and a route RV1 bus, which operates between Covent Garden and Tower Hill.
It is hoped that if the trial is successful the sponsors could help fund its extension to further buses in the fleet.
TfL has also begun to trial two further pieces of technology in the form of an upper deck seat indicator and enhanced passenger information screens.
The new technology, which analyses information from the onboard CCTV system, displays seat availability on a screen at the base of the stairs.
Other improvements include the installation of interactive digital screens on Regent Street, delivered in partnership with Clear Channel, and on Eden Street in Kingston, delivered in partnership with JCDecaux, which provide live bus arrival information, alongside real-time updates on other public transport options.
Via: The Drum

Cisco Launches Connected Billboard in San Francisco

Cisco has placed an Internet-connected billboard on Rt. 101 near San Francisco International airport that will deliver specific messaging based on a driver’s speed in order to highlight what it calls “the Internet of everything.”
Cisco and its agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, have been working for nearly a year on the idea and it could have bigger implications for outdoor advertisers looking to deliver more customized messages.
Cisco and Goodby designed the billboard so that a message is delivered to the board based on how fast a driver is going. They set four speed ranges with four different messages. For example, if a driver is moving under 22 miles per hour (which is highly likely in the area) they will see a message stating “The Internet of Everything is changing this billboard based on your speed. So you see only what you have time to read. Sorry about the slow going.” At the bottom of each billboard is the Cisco logo and tagline “Tomorrow starts here.” The faster the speed, the shorter the message.
Via: Ad Age