Airport operations and experiences are undergoing significant changes. To keep up with renewed demand, which is now going to be experience-driven, airports are considering the best next steps to take when planning their future activities.
We all know that Covid-19 dominated the past few years, which resulted in the aviation and travel industries hit the hardest, but it was also a time of introspection, improvements, and progress by the aviation, and most certainly, the airports industry.
From recent dealings and professional experience, airports are more open now than ever before. This means reforms. Reforms to introduce even more advanced services and capabilities. Reforms to meet the expected demands of the return to pre-pandemic operations. Reforms to close the current training gap of new local staff. Reforms to provide a more efficient and seamless customer service to meet passengers’ experiences.
Before we delve into the solutions that could be implemented in your airport very soon, for your convenience, first, we need to identify the areas of an airport’s responsibility. In short, it is from when you find your car space to when you board the plane. Included is: navigating the check-in process, bag-drop, and security inspections. It also entails food and drink options, retail shopping for last-minute gifts, and duty-free shopping. For some, it includes lounges in business class, and for others, it is finding a quiet spot to rest while waiting at the gate.
Once you’re on the plane, the operators can sigh relief – provided you won’t be taxiing on the runway for too long, the planes are on time, the runways are operational, fodder removed, and then you’re off.
What then does the startup-scaleup nation offer in terms of customer experience to increase thoroughfare, make sure their rented retail spaces are profitable, and that you want to return to that airport as your preferred travel destination time and time again?
- Imagine stepping foot in an airport after two and a half years of not travelling. You’re petrified of catching Covid and being stuck abroad. You want to talk with as few people as possible, plus you’re facing a long wait time. You want to an alcoholic beverage, but the thought of a bartender shaking and stirring cocktails isn’t sitting well. What if it was served by a robot?
Interactive and Robotic Bartender
Cecilia.ai is an interactive bartender that can be customized for any event or business. Powered by conversational AI and voice recognition abilities, Cecilia makes delicious cocktails crafted by acclaimed mixologists, chats with customers, tells jokes, promotes users’ brands, and provides an unforgettable experience to new and returning visitors. Cecilia grants businesses valuable customer data, a unique attraction for visitors, and a new way to advertise and stand out. Cecilia.ai is developed by Minga Box.
2. You’ve had your drink, and you’re feeling better about flying. But your children are getting restless, and you want to save the iPad solution in your back pocket for the flight. When you’re looking for some free light entertainment, what if they could play with an interactive game projected from the ceiling?
Beam by EyeClick
Interactive Entertainment Platform for Kids
EyeClick is an interactive technology developer and the creator of Beam (formerly EyePlay), an award-winning gaming solution for kids ages 2 and up that can turn any physical space into an immersive, active, and highly addictive gaming experience. Beam uses projection technology that mounts to the user’s ceiling to create an immersive play space that will work on any flat surface. When activated, Beam comes to life with a variety of games and experiences that react to the movements of up to 15 kids. Beam fosters active, healthy play in a safe, germ-free environment that doesn’t require cleanup or staffing. Beam has thousands of installations worldwide with millions of kids playing and clients that include McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Wimpy, IKEA, and Virgin
3. Now that you’re all ready to board your flights and it’s coming up to the time, your eyes are straining, and, to be honest, they were never that good to begin. You look at your phone to get wayfinding straight into your ears, telling you exactly which way to go and how long it will take; wouldn’t that be great!
Accessibility Solutions for People with Disabilities
Step-Hear develops and markets assistive technologies designed to provide equal accessibility for everyone. It specializes in creating accessible indoor and outdoor navigational solutions for blind and visually impaired people and in providing IoT assistance to help those with other disabilities, including mobility disabilities, overcome certain challenges in public spaces and using public transportation. The company’s technologies include a free application (or a wrist-worn activator for users who do not use smartphones) to automatically activate its unique Audio-Sign base units, which utilize a smart loudspeaker capable of delivering multiple messages using Bluetooth communication. Its advanced navigation system for the blind and visually impaired relies on its Audio-Sign system for accurate anchoring, as well as on the company’s innovative and versatile solutions, which can be adapted for a variety of different uses. The company has also developed a smart accessibility system for public transportation, including buses, trains, trams, and light rail. The system includes features such as the ability to send the bus driver a message that a person with disabilities is waiting at the next stop and audio announcements indicating the closest train door to the user.
4. Now think about what would be the best experience ever, in an airport. Having the captain greet you in the metaverse before stepping on the plane? The world is your imagination, especially when it comes to mixed reality.
Augmented and Mixed-reality Infrastructure
Mixed.Place is developing a platform that will allow users to position mixed-reality digital content over the physical world. The company’s application allows users to create digital content that can overlay physical reality in open areas and inside buildings. The application will enable users to design, build, and share digital overlays for precise integration into the physical world in both indoor and outdoor spaces.