Aviation Industry: Early Adopter of Innovative Technologies
Expectations of connected, tech-savvy passengers are soaring sky-high – pushing the aviation industry to look for newer ways to improve customer experience. Airlines are increasingly looking at using wearable and non-wearable technologies in innovative ways to create customer delight and provide operational efficiency. Wearables such as smart watches can make both the in-airport and in-flight experience more convenient for the passenger. According to a 2014 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger survey, 77% of the passengers surveyed were comfortable with the use of wearable technology to ease their journey. Tech-savvy passengers are already using smartphones, tablets or laptops to download personalized apps and services. Airlines and airports are thus well placed to use innovative technologies to engage directly with passengers and offer them personalized services throughout their journey.
Some of the top wearable and non-wearable technologies include:
Smart Watches enable passengers to board flights easily. Passengers can check-in, pass security and board flights using a 2D barcode in their smart watches. This technology also provides flight details to passengers. Also, pilots wearing smart watches can get alerts when they reach or leave an altitude, and for switching fuel tanks during the flight.
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Apple Watch are the leading smart watches available in the market today. Galaxy Gear is handy and makes it easier for travelers to access flights, hotels and other travel itinerary. Using these wearables, hands-free travelers can easily carry their luggage and belongings, view departure times, call airlines, get maps or directions and share itineraries with friends and relatives. The Apple Watch stores your boarding pass; you can also use it for step-by-step navigation through the departure gate or another point of interest in the terminal, view time- and location-specific notifications and pay for duty free purchases with a tap.
Virtual Reality Devices
Pilots or engineers will be able to see operational issues using virtual reality glasses. At present, engineers and pilots email pictures and call the Operations Control Centre to resolve problems over the phone; with wearable technology they will be able to relay images directly back to the base.
Virtual reality handsets are also used by a number of airlines to transport passengers to an immersive virtual world. Airlines can showcase the sights and delights of network destinations, their new products and latest in-flight blockbuster movies with this technology.
Drones can be handy for inspecting a carrier’s fleet and reporting on any damage that might require repair or replacement. The repair work, which took weeks earlier, can be completed in days. Drones can be a highly efficient and cost-effective means of inspecting planes.
Wearable and non-wearable technologies are being used as tools to improve operational efficiency and create a more personal and seamless travel experience for the passenger. If these technologies are linked with biometrics, a number of opportunities will open up – enabling passengers, airports and airlines to use smart devices throughout the journey.
Airlines and airports that are early adopters of these technologies will redefine the future travel experience – and scale new heights in creating the perfect passenger experience.