Brazilian Airport Adopts BLE Beacons

Magda Szumlakowska How it works, Proximity Leave a Comment

Great example brought up by IOT journal of multiple use of beacon technology. Internet of Things technology is helping passengers at the main airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, find services via their smartphones. The airport has adopted Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to offer Internet of Things services to its passengers and visitors. The solution involved the installation of 3,000 beacons and the development of a smartphone app.

The implemented solution allowed passengers to check flights and services, as well as pay for parking, using their cell phone. The app shows tourists the way to a pharmacy inside an airport, for example, and lets them plan stops at their preferred shops and restaurants.

This solution uses 3G or Wi-Fi internet connection capabilities and Bluetooth beacons to allow visitors to determine their own location within terminals using the application map, as well as draw routes and navigate to the place at which they wish to arrive. The customers receive information about their route and the estimated time required to complete it.

With the application, which is freely available for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, this is the first airport in Latin America to feature what it calls "indoor navigation." The technology integrates beacons, interfaces and custom developed app.

Once connected, a passenger or visitor has the option to follow flights on a panel that lists all departure and arrival times. With the "follow a flight" option, the user then receives real-time notifications regarding the status of the particular flight that he or she wants to follow.

Travelers also have the option of paying for parking without having to visit one of the ticket booths in person. When this option is selected, the application automatically opens the mobile device's camera function, enabling it to read the QR code printed on the card and thereby provide an alternative payment method via credit card.

In addition to offering features that identify services available within the airport—shops and airline terminals, for instance—the app also enables passengers to locate bathrooms, changing rooms, elevators and stairs on the airport map. In addition, a user can evaluate the services received, thus allowing for the continuous improvement of services offered to visitors.

The app provides information on estimated arrival times and traffic on routes to the airport, through integration with applications such as Google Maps and Waze. It also offers weather reports and information about available public transport.