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Groundbreaking innovations in air travel

Recent projects

BoardingPass API

The BoardingPass API is one of the first that we developed. It is a managed service allowing airlines complete flexibility in the creation and distribution of mobile boarding passes.

Boarding passes are delivered via SMS, email or by using push notifications to registered smartphone applications. They can also be integrated into an airline’s app. JetBlue was one of the first airlines to go live using the API for Apple Passbook.

We have continuously developed new features and recently launched the ability for passengers to board their flight with a flick of their wrist and scan of their smartwatch. A quick swipe reveals the boarding pass and a second swipe displays the barcode, allowing the passenger to get straight through the checkpoints to board the plane.

SITA gets smart with boarding passes

Mobilizing WorldTracer®

SITA's WorldTracer® baggage tracing service is now available for tablets.

Working in close collaboration with SITA's baggage team, the SITA Lab developed and deployed a tablet application and cloud service API that allows ground handlers greater mobility. The interface facilitates faster and more efficient processes that result in better service for the passenger.

The first proof-of-concept was conducted in Kuala Lumpur together with Malaysia Airlines, where six agents were equipped with six iPads and six Bluetooth-connected mobile printers. Malaysia Airlines was able to cut the time to file a claim in half when using the application.

SITA and Malaysia Airlines cut time to file bag claims in half

Developer.aero

SITA Lab has been developing a concept called developer.aero, which is both a brand and an experimental application programming interface (API) management platform.

The ultimate goal was to innovate new APIs and find ways to monetize internal data and services. Developer.aero was initially  managed by SITA Lab as a vehicle for customers to evaluate the APIs that were in concept phase. However, the developer.aero brand and platform have now matured beyond concept and been embraced by the SITA solution lines as a single vehicle for exposing APIs to the external world.

By using developer.aero, airlines, airports and other industry players can extend existing IT processes by harnessing the application developer community to provide new apps for the industry and the world by using the APIs available: Mobile BoardingPass API, iTravel API, ATIBeacon API and BagJourney API.

Near field communications (NFC)

Near field communications (NFC) technology is an area the SITA Lab started researching in late 2011. It resulted in a world-premier offering in 2012 together with Toulouse Blagnac Airport.

We have since continued our research in NFC technology and recently together with Orange, Air France, Toulouse airport and RESA, in June 2014, launched the first seamless boarding experience in Europe.

The technology will enable passengers to automatically receive their NFC boarding pass on their smartphones using their usual check-in method. By simply tapping their mobile on dedicated readers in the airport, they will then be able to quickly and easily pass through the different steps of their journey, including priority lanes for security control, lounge access and boarding. Our NFC project was branded "Touch 'n Go" and scheduled to last until the end of 2014.

CrewTablet

SITA's CrewTablet provides immediate access for cabin crew to weather reports, seat layouts, frequent flyer programs, flight connection details and other data.

CrewTablet replaces traditional paper-based processes. With a wealth of information and intuitive utilities at their fingertips, such as e-learning and on-board retail, cabin crew can provide a more accurate and responsive service to passengers.

SITA's CrewTablet debuts on Malaysia Airline's A380s

Older projects

iPad MHkiosk (2011)

Together with Malaysia Airlines, SITA Lab deployed the industry's first iPad-based kiosks to sell airline tickets.

Malaysia Airlines Managing Director/CEO, Tengku Dato' Azmil Zahruddin, said at the time:

"There is huge interest in the iPad MHkiosk which went live today in Kuala Lumpur. It is as simple as ABC. You select your itinerary, pay with a credit card, and receive confirmation via SMS and email. There is no printing and no admin fee.

"It will mean better queue management at our ticket offices during peak hours when customers can be re-directed to 'stand-alone' iPad MHkiosk."

MHBuddy (2011)

SITA Lab created the world's first social network booking engine, MHbuddy.

Using MHbuddy, passengers can book and check in for their flights while sharing their trip details with friends - directly from Facebook.

MHdeals (2011)

The industry's first augmented reality app, MHdeals, uses GPS technology to help passengers find the nearest airports and source the best travel deals from these airports.

MHdeals demonstrated for the first time how airlines could exploit augmented reality commercially, as a new channel to customers for ticket sales.

Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said at the time:

"MHdeals is an iPhone augmented reality application that uses the GPS to determine your location and display the nearest airports from which you can access great deals. You simply hold the phone in front of you to view the surrounding airports and select one to view flight offers. Passengers can then book their flights through the MHmobile application which SITA Lab developed and launched for Malaysia Airlines last year."

Geo-localization at airports (2011)

Working with Cisco and Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, SITA Lab launched the world's first indoor Wi-Fi-based tracking system in a large public space.

The iPhone app conquered the limitations of indoor geo-localization services and enabled passengers to find information on where they were in the airport. Using real-time data on passenger movements, the airport could also track queues at key locations.

The app, developed by a combined team from the airport, SITA Lab and Novasa, connected to the geolocation platform deployed at CPH by SITA Lab as a proof-of-concept. The geolocation platform calculated the position of passenger mobile phones through triangulation and signal strength from Wi-Fi access points. The phone app used the geolocation data and phone compass to place a point-of-interest in relation to where the passenger was looking through the phone's camera.

Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said at the time:

"This innovation is a breakthrough not only for the airport industry but for anybody who wants to develop an augmented reality application that works indoors.

"Copenhagen Airport can give up to date information that is relevant to passengers in their exact location. In time, the airport can work with retailers to offer specific promotions to passengers which will encourage more business."

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