Contactless & Discoverability: How people operate, work in, and experience airports

by | Apr 15, 2021 | News, Payments

As a trusted solutions provider for leading aviation companies, the LocusLabs team keeps a close eye on how the pandemic impacts every facet of the travel experience. Below, I share my thoughts on two profound changes taking place in the aviation industry and what they imply about the future of travel.

Contactless Takes on A New Meaning

Contactless isn’t exactly a new concept. An established and well-understood paradigm in the payments space long before the pandemic, technologies like Near-Field Communication (NFC) gave us the ability to check out at the grocery store by hovering our smartphones over a small point of sale device. No wallets or cash required. Introducing contactless technology to the payments space was primarily a matter of convenience.

However, as the pandemic spread across the world, contactless became a necessity. Health concerns made it critical for airports and airlines to find new ways of safely facilitating routine air travel experiences like dining, shopping, checking in bags, boarding, and deplaning.

Many of our customers and their passengers focused on reducing surface points of contact. One creative application relied on established, familiar technology – QR codes – to create contactless interactions between passengers and airport signage.

Airports worldwide began incorporating QR codes on digital and paper signage, allowing passengers to display interactive versions of maps or concessions menus right on their smartphones – without having to touch anything.

Airlines seamlessly integrated information about amenities and safety protocols from destination airports directly into their native smartphone apps, giving passengers peace of mind and allowing them to discover and explore the airport before settling at their departure gate.

TL;DR: Contactless experiences will remain a high priority beyond the pandemic.

Making the Built Space more Discoverable

Airports aren’t just a means to an end – they’re rich with opportunities for travelers to discover local culture, food, businesses, and people. Managing such involved, high-traffic, complex spaces present a unique set of challenges. By making built spaces more discoverable and easier to navigate, we have the potential to reshape how people operate, work in, and experience airports.

For passengers, feeling confident and informed is empowering. Direct access to critical knowledge makes traveling easier and more enjoyable. Reliable, real-time information allows travelers to explore the airport without worrying about getting lost or wandering too far from their boarding gate. This discovery mindset translates directly into increased revenue opportunities for airports and airlines.

TL;DR: Going forward, consumers will demand better access, visibility, and information about the spaces they occupy.

What’s our role? At LocusLabs, we’re breathing life into once-static directories with dynamic, contextual search and harnessing spatial data to increase revenue by encouraging exploration and concession discovery. For staff and leadership – the people responsible for building appealing, engaging airport experiences – LocusMaps on Digital Display ensures travelers can find and enjoy everything the airport teams work so hard creating.

LocusMaps on Digital Display aims to drive concessions revenue by activating every screen in the airport terminal with dynamic, location-relevant information that prompts travelers to explore the entertainment, dining, and shopping outlets surrounding them. The product comes with the added ability to include QR codes that enable a seamless transfer from the display to a user’s mobile device. Not only does this feature create an interactive, touchless experience, but it also makes inroads to a much more valuable digital channel – mobile!

This new product addresses two critical challenges facing the aviation industry today: increasing contactless experiences and improving airport discoverability. LocusMaps on Digital Display illustrates our approach to supporting airport and airline customers by helping them increase revenue and exceed passenger expectations, even during periods of global transition and unprecedented industry stress.