SITA Lab Launches Common Use Beacon Registry

March 11, 2014

Beacon technology has been hailed as a game-changer in retail. It uses Bluetooth to trigger the display of information on phones and tablets which is relevant to the specific location and context of the user.

SITA Lab has investigated the potential of using beacon technology in today’s airports. The benefits being touted for the technology, such as low cost and wide range, have a huge potential for airlines, airports and other travel enterprises wanting to connect directly with customers. SITA Lab investigated if the technology actually does work and has conducted the earliest trials of beacon technology in the air transport industry with a leading international airline and airport, the results of which are both promising and cautionary.

SITA Lab has today issued its findings in its paper Connecting to your passenger – are beacons the breakthrough?

SITA Lab’s research has highlighted that a common-use approach to beacon technology makes sense at airports, where airlines do not have dedicated gates or other infrastructure. Shared beacons, with which airlines can associate their own mobile apps, would be far more efficient and effective than each airline managing a set of beacons at each airport. It is already a model used effectively for other shared services at the world’s airports, such as check-in, bag drop and gate infrastructure. SITA is now taking up the challenge for the industry in its role as the community provider for beacons.

Jim Peters, SITA’S Chief Technology Officer, and head of SITA Lab, announced today that SITA Lab is currently building an industry registry for all beacons. The goal is that any airline will have a single point of contact to investigate beacons deployed by airports around the world. The same access point can be used by beacon owners to manage their beacons and maintain the meta-data for each beacon.

Airports, airlines and app developers who are interested in leveraging the potential of beacons in the air transport industry are invited to join the project. For more information, check out https://www.developer.aero/Beacon-Registry-API/API-Overview