Daily Disruption: Wearable Technology
In the beginning, wearable devices found initial markets in the sports and health monitoring sectors. Then came the Google glass and watches with the Android or Apple OS. Now many features formerly exclusive to smart phones are now possible in a smart watch as well. In what came as a surprise to many analysts, 30 million smartwatches were sold in 2015.
The fast growing hardware capabilities and the interest from giants like Apple and Google brought Bluetooth, internet connectivity, and apps such as Accelerometer, Compass, and NFC to the smartwatch. This confluence of features can result in a high quality user experience for an enthusiastic traveler who need not be a technology lover.
Boarding a flight is an example scenario where the smartwatch becomes a star.
Timothy checks-in two hours before the flight from DXB to MIA, and receives the boarding pass in his watch. The watch alerts on a gate change 45 minutes before the boarding gate closes. He goes to the coffee shop near the new gate and waits there. The watch alerts him again at 20 minutes before the closing time, telling him he must walk 5 minutes to reach the gate. The watch identifies its location by listening to Bluetooth beacons in the airport. As he reaches the gate, the watch transmits his boarding pass to an NFC or Bluetooth receiver that validates Tim for a successful boarding. Tim can see his seat number anytime through just a flip or shake of his wrist.
Many other valid scenarios are identifiable for a smart watch in the travel industry. For example, a crew might be notified change in flight or hotel details, or even a total route shift. Both travelers and travel professionals would benefit greatly from the proper implementation of wearable technology.