74% Of Airports To Send Beacon-Triggered Messages to Travelers

The airlines are getting aboard The Internet of Things train.

More than a third of airlines worldwide already have committed funding to implement IoT projects, according to a new study.

And over the next three years, more than half of all airlines expect to have IoT initiatives up and running, according to The Future Is Connected study by SITA, the airline industry organization.

However, there is a gap, with most airlines seeing IoT as presenting clear benefits, a number significantly higher than those allocating budget. Here’s the breakdown of views from the airlines:

  • 86% -- IoT will present clear benefits in the next 3 years
  • 67% -- IoT presents clear benefits today
  • 37% -- We have budget allocated for implementation of IoT

The most IoT benefit is expected to be in check-in, followed by bag-drop and baggage claim.

Airports are installing Internet-connected sensors like beacons, which, among other things, will measure passenger flows and aim to prevent long lines.

Most (80%) airports will be investing in sensor technology over the next three years and 79% will invest in cloud services, according to the study.

By the end of 2018, three quarters (74%) of airports will be using beacons to provide notices to passengers, 58% for locating resources and 48% for environmental sensing. Those beacons also open a potential gateway for ads, of course.

Here’s where airlines will deploy beacons by 2018:

  • 44% -- Bag drop
  • 43% -- Baggage claim
  • 38% -- Check-in

Airlines already are experimenting with beacons.

For example, American Airlines is working to include Apple’s iBeacon technology into its mobile app to provide more personalized response to members at its Admiral’s Club.

United Airlines flyers passing through Newark Airport already can view their location in the United app to help them find their away around the airline’s hub. Miami Airport is taking a similar approach.

It looks like beacons could be the airline’s doorway to The Internet of Things. 

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