Technology That Monitors Cellphones To Calculate Airport Wait Times #Technology #CellPhone
There are plenty of things that I don’t like One of them is waiting. For just about anything. I’m not alone. The airport is one of those places where hours upon hours can disappear…just while waiting.
A company called BLIP Systems wants to let us know where we stand, while we stand, at the airport (most notably, JFK in NYC). Sounds good to me. But the way that they’re doing it is the real interesting part. The company has unleashed a bunch of sensors, or “BlipTracks” around the airport, that check for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals from cellphones in “discoverable” mode (not creepy since it’s just collecting anonymous MAC addresses for algorithmic purposes).
So in a way, BLIP Systems is harnessing the folks waiting to figure out just how long they’ll have to wait. I dig it. The screens showing calculations of wait times are familiar looking, as some of us are lucky enough to have those on our highways. It’s pretty helpful (and calming) to know what’s going on ahead of you.
The CEO of the company that runs JFK’s most clogged terminals, Gert-Jan de Graaff of JFKIAT, had this to say about the technology:
We’re probably reaching 19.5 million passengers this year in total. It’s a big operation, which is why we’re introducing innovations to enhance the operations of the building. This new system will help us manage and eliminate problem spots within the facility, and sharing the processing time with our travelers will provide them with peace of mind so they may continue to expect a pleasant travel experience. Additionally, data from travelers’ phones could eventually influence future airport design.