EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of Brendan’s from Tuesday on my observations from the Geneva Airport Passenger Terminal Expo.
One of the things that strikes me here at the Air Passenger Expo is the proliferation of companies offering some type of passenger flow monitoring solutions. These vary from small startups to large players, and the offerings are a mixture of many technologies: video, cameras, bluetooth, and various types of sensors. The problem most are solving is point-based monitoring, such as how many passengers in the line, how many people are entering, or what is the current wait time in security – all very valuable point information for the Airports to make sure they’re staffed properly and passengers have the best experience.
While some of these technologies provide an absolute accuracy, or absolute count of people, they are very limited in their range. None can show the flow across the complete venue, very few can indicate whether the same passenger has returned or if it is a new passenger, and most require the installation of additional equipment in the venue. The advantages with our WiFi-based location analytics (in the Connected Mobile Experiences solution) is there no additional equipment to install, it’s able to identify repeat customers, and able to show flows across the complete venue. This is proving a real interesting proposition for the Airports we are speaking with here.
In my opinion, the Airport market is evolving from a technology perspective, and a lot of the innovation is now in the ‘passenger’ related areas. Over the coming years, the technology dots will start to be joined so that a passenger can check-in at home, have the barcoded boarding pass on their phone, be welcomed back to the airport, be navigated seamlessly through the airport in the most efficient manner, and have a variety of very useful local services available to them from their phone. The other side of this provides enormous information and data to the airport for operations, marketing and performance enhancements.