Have you ever noticed how many breadcrumbs you drop when you are eating a sandwich? And have you ever considered the variety of information that your trail of breadcrumbs leaves? For starters, it reveals the place where you’ve been. Perhaps it’s your favorite seat in the lunchroom, or the fact that you always eat at your desk. It also shows the kind of ingredients you prefer, like whole wheat over white, mustard with no mayo, or how messy or tidy you are.
When analyzed, the amount of data you provide by eating a simple snack is immense. The trace you leave behind is like a portrait, and it may reveal the best way to engage with you.
Like the breadcrumbs that fall off the sleeves of your shirt, the Internet of Things (IoT) can capture a treasure trove of data. Our travel habits are filled with data points that can be used to improve the travel experience to make it easier, faster and better than ever before.
So how can the Internet of Things shape the way we travel? Here are the top ten use cases Amadeus is looking at today:
- Fuel Monitoring: The collection of aircraft data, such as weight of the load, weather patterns, trajectory or navigation, can be used to plan and reduce fuel consumption.
- Passenger verification: Long security lines are the bane of airport managers and travelers alike. What if passports were replaced by a single biometrics scan that could act as a travel ID, or a smart phone app that stores securely encrypted personal data to share with traveler consent? Improved passenger verification could translate to less time boarding and more time spent shopping at the duty free shops.
- Asset monitoring: Sensors can track and monitor assets like non-motorized ground support vehicles used to load suitcases in the airplane’s hold. Airports like Schiphol, in Amsterdam, are using that data to locate their vehicles and dispatch them in the most efficient way.
- Predictive maintenance: Airports and airlines can’t afford to let things break down during peak hours. With sensors to monitor engine performance and other key systems, maintenance can be scheduled as soon as something looks off to reduce breakdowns, delays and costs.
- Connected Vehicles: Ground transport is also a primordial contender for potential development. Analyzing real-time data from millions of connected cars can lead to enhanced safety and decision making – no more running the red light because you didn’t notice it. The use of Internet of Things sensors and connectivity will also improve how they are serviced, maintained and designed.
- Connected Rooms: Guestroom automation in property management can help deliver better service and save costs. Using Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology, hotels can track items in the room. The chip is read by sensors in the hotel room, and can be used by housekeeping to see if towels need to be replenished or if room-service trays need to be picked up.
- Hyper-personalization: For hotels hyper-personalization defines a brand new guest experience – customized room settings, automated check-in, etc. Customer preferences can be stored so that favorite shows, preferred newspapers, or other details like extra towels or a yoga mat are already arranged before a guest arrives. Be one step ahead of the game and offer your regular business traveler the Financial Times in advance to foster loyalty.
- Location-based interactions: They can provide contextual information to the user through location data. A business traveler might only have 20 minutes to eat between meetings. In that case, location data might suggest the best takeout restaurants nearby with the best customer reviews. If they are allergic to gluten, they could receive the nearest gluten-free restaurant recommendations in their neighborhood.
- Wearables for improved operations: The use of Internet of Things on wearables can simplify operations like credit card payments or ticket access. Wrist bands can be your best ally when visiting a theme park. Disney’s MagicBands collect data from visitors to avoid issuing tickets, personalize the experience by keeping track of their preferences, and enable them to use the bands as an alternative payment method to credit cards.
- Baggage tracking: Imagine if you could keep track of your bag in real time. Baggage tracking could ensure that lost baggage is a thing of the past.
The applications of the Internet of Things in travel are numerous. These are just a few of the use cases we’re looking at now. Are there others you’ve thought of?