For countless travelers, the term "smart airport" is an oxymoron. For these individuals, massive crowds, endless delays and a rash of other headaches hardly add up to an intelligent environment. One exponential technology"”a technology that is growing at an exponential rate"”that"™s helping to create smarter, more efficient airports is the Internet of Things (IoT).
Getting Better, but With Ample Opportunity
The technology failures that caused the widely publicized shutdowns of both Southwest and Delta Airlines in 2016 underscored the very real need to update aging IT infrastructure.
But, in many ways, those incidents were outliers. Thanks to new technology, many other aspects of airline travel have definitely improved. For instance, with regard to airport services themselves, compare your recent experiences with what you may have encountered as recently as 10 years ago. There"™s little doubt that tools such as large interactive displays, electronic check-ins, kiosks and improved baggage tracking systems have provided a much smoother and more pleasant travel experience.
The tools that we ourselves carry have also improved airline travel. Smartphones provide real-time updates on changing travel conditions, and airline apps are finally getting useful, allowing you to select another flight if yours is delayed or cancelled or to see where your bag is at any time. Apple fans can even carry their boarding pass on their Apple watch, not to mention forgoing the need to carry and print envelopes of travel documentation.
All these useful tools also highlight the opportunity afforded by taking steps to further link them together in a comprehensive, powerful network. We are beginning to connect more and more machines and sensors to each other so that they can perform functions and provide actionable information in real time, saving us time and money. That"™s the promise of IoT…