With the outbreak of Covid-19, all industries have been hit hard and airport terminals have gone from bustling hubs of activity to eerily empty spaces. In order to get the economy up and running, airports are upgrading their infrastructure so as to prevent further spread of the disease whilst providing unique and hassle-free customer service. Passengers would also want to start traveling again, but with the assurance that airports are taking the right measures for their safety with reference to sanitisation, social distancing, minimal contact, etc.
As a rapid response to the current Coronavirus pandemic as well as to prevent future health risks, airports across the world have started employing touchless and automated technologies to contain transmissible diseases.
- Biometric scanners designed to deliver a touchless journey
- Facial Recognition technology
- Voice technology with Natural Language Processing
- Touchless passport and identity card reading
- Touch-free measuring of vital signs of passengers such as temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate.
- Touchless elevators, parking, security checks, washrooms
- No-touch kiosk and bag drop services via head movements rather than by touching the screens.
Also wherever touch points are imperative, extensive sanitization needs to be done i.e. at security checks, aircrafts, toilets and food areas to make sure that the virus is destroyed and infection does not spread. By understanding crowd density and rhythm, airport operators can also improve the responsiveness of the disinfection process and move from a scheduled cleaning plan to a needs-based one.
We are recommending a series of touch points which either can be made completely touchless or the touch can be reduced substantially.
A touchless parking could be the future wherein before even getting to the airport one can buy a parking ticket (space) and enter the parking lot, scan a QR code and park without having to press any buttons. This is very much possible with Voice commerce using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Imagine Smart Elevators wherein instead of pushing buttons, you simply speak up the floor you want to go to. Also, imagine a speaking elevator to whom you can ask queries about amenities or any such information and would automatically take you to the right floor. This is very much possible with voice technology.
AI-Enabled Touchless Security Checks
Imagine entering a security lane, sharing your vital signs, passing through security and boarding an airplane, all without touching any screens, tickets, or people. According to airport authorities, that’s where we are headed, considering the clear and present danger of Covid 19 disease.
AI-Enabled Touchless Health Checks
Thermal screeners can take the temperatures of all staff and visitors entering transit areas. Self-serving health check kiosks can monitor a passenger’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, flagging those who need medical attention. While this technology is not designed to diagnose any medical condition, it can process huge amounts of biometric data and also assess a passenger’s suitability to travel, thereby minimizing disruptions.
Quick Snacks and Food
Food and Beverages is an extremely important amenity at any airport. Social distancing can be challenging as people stand in lines waiting to order. This could be completely eliminated by Mobile apps with menus so one can place orders and make payments. The order would flow directly into the Point of Sales system and the travellers would only need to pick up the food.
Disinfection process could be a huge challenge at airports due to the large areas and maintaining it sanitized. Also some sanitizers are effective for short durations while others could last a bit longer. Hence the cleaning process needs to be upgraded from scheduled to a needs-based one. A smarter approach would be to have intelligent, sensor-based sanitizers throughout the airport – when hands are placed in the proximity of the sensor, the infrared energy fluctuation triggers the pump to dispense the liquid.
Touchless Restroom Fixtures
Using touchless fixtures helps to inhibit the spread of germs in restrooms and elsewhere. This includes touch-free fixtures for soap, faucets, hand dryers/towels, doors and flushers. Installing hand sanitizers outside restrooms is also a good approach so that people can sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the restroom.
The true value of AI at airports is its ability to read the humongous data and translate it into business intelligence i.e. the more data that kiosks gather and analyse, the better will airports be able to process that data and accordingly take relevant measures. These touchless solutions will allow passengers to go through the self-service experience with minimal or no touch, thereby providing a seamless, intuitive and safe method of moving quickly through the airport.
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