The Internet of Things and its Benefits for the Aircraft Industry

Looking about three years ahead, the transport industry has identified the potential of the Internet of Things to increase business intelligence and the customer experience. The connection of objects, passengers and their staff offers many opportunities for a major increase in the customer service.

A current survey has disclosed that a vast majority of airlines is already focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the passenger experience by delivering clear benefits within the next years. Expected benefits like described in the following are not only derived from connecting objects like planes and baggage, but also the staff and the customers themselves as more than 80 percent are carrying smartphones and tablets and thus are part of IoT as well.

A first example of IoT within the aircraft industry is the use of beacons for baggage, which allows the companies to match location and other information to improve their service and offer fast solutions if a suitcase is missing. At the same time, supporting the customer directly with this new technology helps to raise acceptance and encourages customers to acknowledge the investment that the companies are making in new technologies.

According to the SITA 2015 Airline IT Trends Survey, the number of airlines using these services will increase from 9 percent to 44 percent by 2018.

A second use-case for IoT is personalized location services that support the customers with their travel planning, for example, to help passengers board on time with notifications based on their location. Such services will also increase noticeably by more than 35 percent up to almost 100 percent within the next three years.

The implementation of the Internet of Things within the air transportation services eases a lot of problems and makes travelling for passengers even more convenient and fast. At the same time, airlines can collect a lot of data to improve their services and business models.

This is why these companies are starting big investment programs to drive the development.

Leave a comment: Do you agree with the idea of connecting all objects with the staff and passengers of airlines? What could other application cases look like?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Safer Cars Due to Augmented Reality

A car has numerous blind spots that noticeably limit the driver’s sight in turns or when changing the lanes. Besides optimizing the form of a car’s body there are also other possibilities such as using augmented reality (AR) to make the window frames and doors invisible.

Implementing new technologies like AR cannot only make marketing activities unique, but also help to ease daily problems of travelling. Integrating cameras, projector displays, adequate software and reflective surfaces into a car can create a transparent cockpit that allows a 360 degrees view from the inside. This enables very safe driving and at the same time changes the entire driving experience for all passengers.

With this equipment, the car’s surroundings are matched to the driver’s perspective and displayed on the inside, thereby making doors, seats and even the floor disappear.

Main challenges associated with augmented reality

To bring this idea to live there are several obstacles to overcome. One major challenge are the seats, as they cannot be covered with LCD or LED with a reasonable amount of effort due to their shape and material. Therefore, the invisible cockpit uses a projector system instead, as this does not require a customization of displays to all parts of the car and has no impact on the functionality. Instead, the materials of seats, doors and other components are designed to either serve as a screen or allow a screen to be placed over them.

To make sure that the projected images are bright enough, a specific system is required to ensure high quality and prevent distorted pictures. The new system reflects light exactly back along the way it just came and thus transports the correct image towards the driver.

As this technology, called retroreflective projection technology, also incorporates the specific perspective of the driver or observer in general, the projector needs to be close to the head or attached to the ceiling above. This allows a realistic image, as it corresponds with the perspective of the driver. Additionally, it uses one projector for each eye, thus creating a stereoscopic effect with only one screen.

Prospectively, the system is not only applicable to serve for one person, but can also project multiple images to one surface or screen by modifying the set-up. First prototypes have already been developed and tested while the system is continuously under further development.

Augmented reality technology can be implemented in all means of transport

This technology can make cars even safer and support the driver in many daily situations like parking. But it can also be transferred to other means of transport like a plane and help during landing by making the floor transparent. Another application could be in ships making windowless cabins more attractive to passengers on a cruise.

Leave a comment: Would you like to drive in a transparent car? Do you think this can really support the driver or does it distract even more?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Hi-Tech Wheelchairs Will Significantly Improve Independency

While autonomous vehicles will ease many mobility problems for everyone, they cannot solve all issues and obstacles that disabled people have to face and overcome in their daily lives. So, new ideas for wheelchairs are needed to enable their users to move more freely and without much help from other people.

To achieve this, prototypes are being developed that offer a lot more options to adapt to their user’s needs and for example, make it a lot easier to get in and out the vehicle. For doing so, the new wheelchair models for example, have an adjustable seat that the user can raise or lower with just one button.

This also makes it a lot easier to reach objects on a high shelf. Another specialty of these vehicles is the backless design that makes the characteristic big wheels and armrests of traditional wheelchairs a thing of the past.

Due to alight construction, battery reach increases to up to four hours if fully charged, which will allow longer trips and developers are continuously working on further improvements.

Based on the functions and advantages, these wheelchairs will not only be useful for elderly people, but also ease many problems of disabled people.

Such a vehicle could for example park itself autonomously in the evening and come back to the user’s bedside when it is called it in the morning.

As this is just one possible addition that could be added to the wheelchair of the future, a lot more robot-like functions are being developed that will solve daily mobility issues and provide more independency for elderly and disabled people.

How else could mobility be made easier for people with special needs?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

A Playful Approach to the Future of Cities

Playing is a very natural way to experience new situations and get in touch with others. But not only for kids a playful approach makes it easier to address even difficult topics and discuss them based on experiences made during playing instead of focusing on high-level theories and surveys.

In today’s discussion about future cities, lots of articles point out that they will be smarter, more efficient and strongly focused on the needs of people to support their daily lives. Additionally, mobility within cities will be faster with less pollution and traffic jams. This meets the requirements of people that expect their daily commuting to be less stressful. Consequently, most initiatives focus on new ways to collect data and use it to improve city live, connect mobility options and make everything more efficient and hassle-free.

Trouble-free commuting can give people more time to interact with each other and spend time together. But it also leads to fewer touch points between people commuting in the cities and instead makes them focus on their phones or other devices while ignoring their surroundings. All in all this data driven approach makes the development of the city of the future a complex topic that excludes most of the city’s habitants.

To counteract this, numerous initiatives strive to establish more playful components into cities, both today and in the future, with the goal to activate people to get in touch with each other and to get engaged in the design and planning of their future living space. The motivation behind is simple: when playing, we do this as humans and traditional status markers like wealth or qualifications do not take center stage.

The variety of ideas to realize this approach is huge and incorporates all areas of a city. One idea to put that into practice is a responsive light installation in a park where people can conduct their own light orchestra with the movement of their bodies. But the range also includes colorful musical wooden benches on which one can play like on a huge marimba or musical instruments embedded in historic places within a city. Further social benches try to get people to interact with each other by using sensors and LED light that shine and blink as people move past.

Playful elements can be established in all parts of a city

But playful elements cannot only be established in public places, they are also applicable in underground stations or even at traffic lights. Augmented reality set-ups bring all kinds of animals into underground stations and let them move and interact along with the commuters. And pedestrian crossing controls can be turned into musical instruments that one can play with and even interact with the people waiting on the other side of the road.

As the cities of the future affect the lives of all its habitants, it is important to include everyone in the discussion about the kind of future everyone wants to live in and what the cities should look like. All the ideas and projects above make cities a more playful and interactive place to live and aim to give people the opportunity to experience the (potential) future of the city. So, this approach can definitely be a bridge-builder into the discussion.

Do you agree with this approach? And how could other playful elements in a city look like?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.