London City Airport has been awarded a grant by the Technology Strategy Board [TSB] to run an ‘Internet of Things’ demonstrator – a concept being championed as the next wave of the internet.
The airport is one of a small number of organisations to secure funding for such a demonstrator project from TSB, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting machines or objects together through a network in order to monitor an environment, enabling smart control and automated management of that environment.
Examples of current uses of the technology include in the management of buildings, connecting gadgets in the home and intelligent shopping.
The only airport in London, LCY will use the grant to take the concept to the next level. The project will develop an interconnected sensor network and data hub to track, understand and better manage passenger flow and behaviour, bringing the ability to interact with passengers at key touch points across the airport.
Key features will include management of passenger movement through the airport, journey time measurement, customer loyalty programmes and location specific services such as personalised planners and gate reminders for passengers, food pre-ordering, locating missing passengers, baggage tracking, airport asset tracking and the ability to locate people in emergency situations.
Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport said: “LCY is the gateway to East London, which is fast establishing itself as a ‘tech city’ within the capital. It therefore seems very fitting that we are taking a leading role in such a trailblazing project. This project will help us to manage the passenger journey through the airport and interact with our customers, track assets on-site, and utilise intelligent marketing concepts tailored to an individual’s needs. We aim to set an example for airports and other businesses all over the world to follow.”
The project will begin in April 2013 and is due to be completed in March 2014. It will use the Living PlanIT Urban Operating System technology and is being led by a consortium of organisations including Milligan, IBM, Cisco Systems and a number of SME technology businesses.