Airports will track your Wi-Fi soon

Travel On The Dollar
March 22, 2011  •  2 min(s) read

Tracking Passengers through Wi-Fi (Source: NY Times)
Tracking Passengers through Wi-Fi (Source: NY Times)

Across most of the airports in the world one can see the same routine much like other airports – passengers hurrying through the terminal, waiting in security lines or lingering at the duty-free shops. But at Copenhagen International Airport, a Geneva-based company, SITA, 860 miles away, is tracking passengers by their phones’ Wi-Fi. Stephane Cheikh, innovation manager for the aviation communications and technology company SITA, was using his laptop to demonstrate a new program that tracked travelers’ movements based on the Wi-Fi-emitting devices they carried.

Why you ask? So the airport can use this information to improve the design of the airport, direct the flow of passengers or shift employees to improve the efficiency of security or immigration checkpoints. And also offer special deals to the passengers.

Currently in a testing period now, SITA hopes to eventually extend the tracking program to other airports around the world. On Mr. Cheikh’s laptop, the tracking program showed different colored dots to distinguish arriving from departing passengers. Travelers can download the associated Copenhagen Airport iPhone application to receive location-specific information on their devices about things like where to find the shortest security line or special deals being offered by nearby stores.

One way to look at this is that the passengers sitting in coffee shops, or duty-free shops will be tracked real-time which, most definitely, is faster and easier than looking at the CCTV camera monitors.

Hopefully this will make more airports install free Wi-Fi as an incentive.

Read more at: NY Times

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