Miami International Airport was the first in the world to have a complete and open deployment of beacons throughout its facilities.
Director of Information Systems and Telecommunications Maurice Jenkins is a keen advocate
Covering entrances, people mover trains, check-in, gates, baggage claim and valet parking zones, the airport’s beacons can be used by airlines, retailers and other partners’ apps to trigger useful content to passengers or staff.
Director of Information Systems and Telecommunications Maurice Jenkins is a keen advocate: “With 250 beacons installed in just two days, for the first time we have a viable technology that can help us influence people’s behavior as they traverse Miami Airport,” he says.
“We now have a way to let people know how far things are, how long it will take to wait or walk, what services are around that they may be interested in, based on the length of their stay,” he adds.
But he has also seen new uses beyond passenger service. “Miami is blessed with beautiful, sunny weather,” he reminds us. “But as a result, our energy costs for air conditioning are extremely high. With beacons, it is now possible to micro-manage the airport’s air conditioning system to economize on our energy costs.”
Jenkins is also an advocate for improving the passenger experience in every way possible: “In the future, every major venue – airport, stadium, concert hall, shopping mall – will have a Chief Experience Officer.
“I’m not talking about the team that manages a website or implements a social media strategy. I’m talking about the team that is thinking about how to assist you as you engage in the physical world.
“I’m talking about having the devices you carry with you every day that provide you with the relevant information you likely need exactly when and where you need it. It’s going to be great!”
At a glance
Instead of people looking down and digging through apps to find out information, the information theyMaurice Jenkins, Director, Information Systems & Telecommunications, MIA
need to know will be visible at a glance.
“I also predict that airports are going to lead the way – because there is such a real world need with the growing global middle class who have the means to fly.
“There are so many aspects of the processes where people need help along the way. What’s driving this is the Internet of Things and technologies like iBeacons.
“Last summer, I took part in an industry conference and I was introduced to beacon technology. What struck me immediately was the potential to invert how people interact digitally: beacons bring the internet into the physical world like no other technology.
“Instead of people looking down and digging through apps to find out information, the information they need to know will be visible at a glance. Instead of the same app experience no matter where you are, with beacons, apps can now be curated to what you actually experience when you are at an airport.”
As we step towards the Internet of Things, beacons are proving to be a crucial part of the mix in getting proximity and context information to mobile devices.