The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a major role in the future of technology. IoT comprises everyday products that are connected to the Internet. These products utilize complex printed circuit design and contain sensors, systems, and other features that drastically improve the level of service they provide. They can connect and communicate with other devices, and changes the way people interact with technology.
IoT is affecting multiple industries. In the home, smart lighting technology, security systems, smart locks, and intuitive thermostats can turn any home into a thinking machine. In agriculture, smart farming solutions are helping close the supply demand gap, allowing farmers to enhance productivity and reduce waste. And in the travel industry, IoT is making a splash, too. According to a report from Deloitte, IoT had incredible potential to make the passenger journey much smoother while also improving revenue for carriers. Here’s how IoT is impacting travel:
If you’ve ever had to maneuver an airport, you understand how complicated it can get. The hurried maze of passengers and gates can make even the most savvy traveler a little confused. Today, some airports have their own apps that use beacons, sensors, and real-time data to deliver the most relevant updates to travelers. This also helps increase revenue for airport retailers, too. For example, when a passenger receives an accurate SMS or push notification informing them of a wait time update, chances are they’ll head over to the nearest restaurant or browse stores to shop.
Air traffic is a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting. With IoT implementation, flight delays can be communicated quicker and more accurately, especially when it pertains to weather-related delays. Airports are able to better monitor and track takeoff and landing conditions using weather monitor beacons and connected surveillances.
These technologies are also connected to passenger-centric apps, which bridge the gap between airline information and passenger information. Traditionally, communicating why delays were happening and when involved a very siloed approach; today, information is streamlined from airport data straight to the passenger.
Improve Hotel Guest Experience
Of course, your accommodation is a major part of your travel experience. No matter where you travel in the world, a great place to rest and rejuvenate at the end of the day is important. Modern hotel are using IoT to improve the guest experience. For example, voice-based interactive technologies like Alexa are found more and more frequently across luxury chains. In-room control systems, smart thermostats, and connected surround systems take the hotel experience to the next level. This is especially important today, when travelers care about the ability to make their trips and stays personalized to their preferences.
Chains like the Marriott allow guests to control features of the room, from the firmness of the mattress to the temperature, using a single control panel or remote system. The hotel industry can also use IoT to make repairs and control maintenance from a preventative stance, helping avoid issues long before they occur, and thereby avoiding a potentially disastrous situation with a traveler.
The In-Flight Experience
Getting from Point A to Point B is half the battle, and IoT and AI are able to improve the in-flight experience. For instance, the Airbus Connected Experience is all about connecting the airplane cabin. In this situation, overhead bins, bathrooms, and even seats are all connected through IoT. This way, the cabin crew can analyze data and have a better understanding of seat availability, bathroom shortages, and foot patterns.
A high level overview of these areas isn’t just beneficial for the flight you’re on, but to help airlines have a better grasp on in-flight trends for future improvements. In the future, seat-embedded IoT sensors will also be able to measure a person’s heart rate, anxiety level, body temperature, and hydration.
Lost baggage is a bigger issue than many people think. Back in 2013, 1.3 million pieces of luggage were lost. Today, airlines have taken major strides toward cutting back on lost baggage—and they’re using IoT to help them do it. In 2016, Delta developed a bag tracking system that notified users about the location of their baggage via the Delta app. This also made it much easier for employees to track a passenger’s bag and retag it in the event of a missed connection or other travel complications.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!