To futurist and Tech.co contributor Jason Hope, the Internet of Things provides 21st century businesses with a game changing technology that can revolutionize the way people interact with their environment. To the average person, the IoT currently means the ability to control their lights or TV with their cell phone. It’s already much more than that though. Jason Hope discussed about the airline industry’s multitude of applications with Wings Journal. Airlines have integrated the IoT’s bluetooth beacon technology into virtually every aspect of the travel experience to improve safety, customer experience, and fuel efficiency. The beacon is a transmitter that allows communication between objects and people.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airline uses IoT technology to improve passenger and crew safety. Beacons connect each part of its fleet of Boeing 787s to a wireless network transmitting real-time performance data that is immediately analyzed. If a part indicates poor performance in flight, the plane lands to find a crew of mechanics waiting with the appropriate replacement part. It also tracks scheduled maintenance automatically. Beacons monitor safety items on the plane, too, such as toolboxes and life jackets.
JetBlue leverages beacons to make navigating the airport easier. It issues boarding passes by e-mail and makes seat assignments 24 hours before takeoff, based on the customer’s prior flight choices. If you enable it, beacons will also guide you through the airport, even recognizing if you get lost and providing you with directions to your gate. On lengthy layovers, the system suggests restaurants and stores in the airport you might enjoy based on prior travel data.
Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa
Delta wants to help you ensure your pet enjoys its flight, too. Its pet-tracking service lets a passenger check in on their dog or cat in-flight. The system provides information on the humidity, light, and temperature in the pet cargo area.Both Delta and Lufthansa use beacons for better baggage handling. Now your baggage won’t travel to the Bahamas without you. They’re already improving the system. Soon, your baggage will route itself to you on the carousel you’re standing closest to in baggage claim, Hope explained.
Air Asia found a way to help the environment, save fuel, and improve flight safety. It implemented a GE Aviation technology that optimizes fuel efficiency. The system monitors the auxiliary power units, navigation routes, terrain conditions, trajectory, weather and other data. In-flight automated analysis creates and implements the optimal flight scenario.Technology research firm Gartner Inc. forecasts that by 2020 the IoT will connect 25 billion things. Hope wants each of them to benefit you. He sees such a bright future for so many applications of the IoT, he’s put his money where his mouth is. He committed $500,000 to the SENS Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to research and comprehensively address age-related disease. Its research and technology developments help people live longer, healthier lives.