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Gadgets link passenger services to data collection

Published on  10 August by Renaud Irminger , Director, SITA Lab, SITA
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With the advent of wearable computing, mobile apps have expanded from smartphones to include smartwatches, smartglasses, Fitbits and smart bands, to name a few. And with the Internet of Things (IoT) right around the corner, we’re already seeing things like smart luggage that can weigh itself.

Smartwatches, in particular, hold a lot of promise. According to the Smartwatch Group, the smartwatch industry is poised to grow from US$ 1.3 billion this year to 117 billion in 2020. (That’s just smartwatches and does not include other wearables and the IoT.)

With so many gadgets out there that passengers are eager to use, how can the air transport industry (ATI) keep up? And how can airlines and airports deploy mobile apps to tap into the available data?

These are questions that the SITA Lab has been asking of late, especially following our research into the use of wearables for the ATI. We’ve been collaborating with airlines and airports to develop and pilot potential solutions for the ATI. Last year, for example, we provided boarding passes for smartwatches via application programming interfaces (APIs), giving airlines the ability to offer tech-savvy passengers the chance to board their flights with a flick of the wrist and scan of their watch.

APIs hold the key for exploiting these emerging and disruptive ‘gadget technologies.’ They enable the creation of new touch-points between passengers and the industry’s IT ecosystem. Because APIs empower developers to build travel apps that unlock massive amounts of passenger data, they’ll help the ATI create richer passenger experiences, including more personalized offerings and services.

Learn more about wearables, gadgets and APIs in the article “More ‘gadgets’ in the front line” in the latest Air Transport IT Review.

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