Augmented Reality In Ireland Slow To Take Off - Gatwick Airport Is Not!

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As you already know, the use of augmented reality in Ireland is something we believe to be highly underused and undervalued in terms of marketing opportunities. Jason previously spoke about the opportunities for large retailers to adopt augmented reality to grab your customers attention and improve the overall shopping experience.

How about improving the passenger experience when travelling through an airport? We’ve all been there – a crowded airport, multiple terminals and panic induced sprints to your gate! Well, Gatwick airport are working on a solution – they are the first airport to adopt AR navigation to guide lost passengers. Although GPS satellite navigation is great for finding directions when outside, the signals are extremely unreliable inside as they struggle to break through concrete walls, hence Google Maps etc. won’t work!

As a solution, they have introduced an indoor navigation system, helping stressed passengers find directions to wherever they need to go in the airport. Using battery powered beacons on walls and fixtures, consumers can open their accompanying app to locate departure gates, baggage carousels, food halls and toilets. The app uses the passengers rear camera to provide a view of what is in front of them…much like Pokemon and other AR apps, 3D arrows and signage appear in augmented reality on the screen, so passengers can view exactly where they need to go.

Breakdown of the benefits;

1. Improving Passenger Experience

As a passenger, the main benefit is reduced stress and anxiety. No matter how prepared you are, getting to the gate on time and trying to navigate your way through a large airport is never easy – the use of augmented reality maps can reduce the time spent looking for your gate, checking boards and asking members of staff.

More importantly, there is massive added value for international passengers! This new technology is likely to make life easier for international (non-English speaking) passengers to follow a visual map rather than trying to read or communicate in English.

2. Improved Airline Operations

Although the technology has only been hooked up to other apps within Gatwick airport, there are talks of the airport integrating the technology with airlines and other 3rd party apps to improve efficiencies and operations.

For example, how cool would it be if Ryanair can now send real time updates and push notifications to passengers who are running late – “Your Late! Here’s the quickest route to your gate!”

3. Added Benefits For Retailers Within The Airport

As mentioned previously, augmented reality in Ireland may be the solution to a packed retail landscape. AR in Gatwick offers up massive opportunities for proximity-based marketing. With users adopting the new app, retailers may be able to send proximity-based deals and promotions based on previous customer behaviours. For instance, if you are have travelled to Gatwick, the app will collect your data and monitor your movements across stores. This will allow retailers analyse in-store experiences, the customer journey and ultimately see how many people have made purchases or not!

With over 75% of customers actively using their smart device while shopping in an airport, this is a massive opportunity for retailers to boost sales. While this new technology is great for customers, the real benefits may fall on the side of retailers to suck a little more cash from passengers pre-flight!

What do you think? Will augmented reality in Ireland take off? Could you see Dublin airport adopting something similar? No doubt there will be concerns surrounding consumer privacy – personally, if they only collect generic information such as gender, age and movements within the airport I have no issue it’s all aimed at improving my travel experience!