Skip to comments.New technology will keep track of airport travellers via smartphones (You will be watched)
Posted on 05/31/2011 2:21:05 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Dubai: Don't be surprised if your every movement is being tracked at airports two years from now.
SITA, specialists in air transport communications and IT solutions, is experimenting with a new technology that can track passengers.
"It simply means the moment a passenger comes to the airport, the airport systems would know," said Jihad Boueri, SITA's VP of Solution Line, Middle East and North Africa.
He said that it can be done by tracking travellers' smart phones or detecting them through the airport's Wi-Fi or Bluetooth systems.
"It would help the airport in knowing the passenger flow," Boueri said.
While this technology is still being tested and has not been deployed at any of the world's airports, Boueri said SITA is implementing this technology in Australia's Sydney airport and Copenhagen airport.
A proof-of-concept exercise was done by Dubai International Airport last year.
"Dubai airport would be going in this direction mostly by next year," Boueri told Gulf News, adding it would greatly help airports to track passenger movements.
Meanwhile, making the most of technology to deliver intelligent airports of the future, SITA claims that by 2013, the "intelligent airport" will be able to track, manage and share real-time information.
"This will allow the intelligent airport to be proactive and predictive in optimising the passenger's journey," said Boueri.
He added: "Passengers as well as airlines are becoming increasingly demanding.
"And airports are facing a challenge. They want to reduce costs but at the same time they want to deliver much better service."
There are three key areas that attract the majority of airport technology investments today, according to SITA.
These include "mobility" (SMS service etc), "self-service" and "CDM" (collaborative decision making).
Boueri said that mobility means a passenger's mobile device is all that he would require during his journey from ticket to boarding pass to check in and so on. "This is where all the development is taking place,' he said.
Self-service would mean no assistance required at the airport barring exceptional cases, including airport transfers, transiting and so on.
"So this would mean self-service from the time you enter the airport all the way to boarding the aircraft," Boueri pointed out.
And collaborative decision making is all about business intelligence wherein all the systems at airports integrate such as airport operations, ground handling, airlines and passengers.
"For instance, accurate estimates of arrival and departure times can improve aircraft handling, apron services, gate management, air traffic control and air traffic flow management," said Boueri.
"According to the SITA study, by 2013, around 40 per cent of the airports surveyed would have implemented all these facilities and with the investment not more than it is today," he said.
He added: "It will happen. The technology is there but it needs some time to be deployed at airports."
In the Middle East, SITA has implemented a number of advanced IT solutions including.
"Such technologies are aimed at improving passenger services and reducing costs," said Boueri.
No picture id, just carry someone else's phone.
Like voter ID, don’t they think this will discriminate against the under priviledged?
Lucky for me my phone is dumb as a bag of hammers. I hardly ever fly anyway.
RE: dont they think this will discriminate against the under priviledged?
1) Where do they get the money to buy the Smartphone?
2) Where are these underprivileged flying to ?
>>1) Where do they get the money to buy the Smartphone?<<
Same place as the money for the $300 weave.
>>2) Where are these underprivileged flying to ?<<
States where the welfare system is more generous.
Just carry a prepaid phone from 7-11 like Virgin or Boost. Registration required but my neighbor switched from Virgin to ATT 60/month unlimited prepaid and he uses cash, a bogus name and address.
And those of us who you couldn't pay to own a cell phone (smart, or otherwise), and don't use airport/hotel/other WiFi/Bluetooth gadgets are going to be 'tracked' how?
They would issue you a device upon entering the facilities. Either you have a smart-phone that is trackable, or else, you have to take one of their tracking devices to enter the airport facility. And then you turn it in at the boarding of the plane ...
Well... color me unthreatened. What’s the use of tracking individual movements in an airport? So you go to your gate... or meander around to some shops and a restaurant, then to your plane and away. There’s just no value in tracking where individual people are in an airport— except as they say here— in the aggregate. In the aggregate there’s useful information. But each individual is utterly uninteresting.
I can see some value in graphically portraying real traffic as people move through an airport in a day. There’s a lot of engineering that goes into handling crowds and moving large groups of people around efficiently. Airports, especially, have a “surging” sort of traffic as planes come in and depart. Engineering out bottlenecks and chokepoints in foot traffic flow is a real art. Some real-time data would be enormously useful.
But for those afraid of Big Brother, here... what exactly do you think they’d care about for each individual? They already know I’m at the airport. ~where~ I am in the airport, or where anybody else is, is likely among the most uninteresting things in the world.
What would be the point of that?
It accomplishes what Dubai wants ... for those who don’t have smartphones.
You think it matters to Dubai authorities where exactly in the airport everybody is at any given moment? Why in the world would that be useful?
All I’m saying is that in the aggregate, to see how masses of people move through an airport might be interesting to engineers trying to devise more efficient ways to move people around... but what’s the point of knowing that any single person is at one or another cafe? Who could possibly care?
That’s what the article is about ... LOL ...
It’s not me that designing the system ... it’s those yahoos in Dubai who are putting it to use there ... :-)
A phone isn’t smart unless it can outsmart its trackers.
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