SITA introduces wearable tech boarding passes

Jul 28 2014, 17:50 IST
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SummaryAirlines can now offer their tech-savvy passengers the chance to board their flight with a flick of their wrist

Airlines can now offer their ultra tech-savvy passengers the chance to board their flight with a mere flick of their wrist and scan of their smartwatch. SITA Lab continues to innovate in the area of wearable tech by providing boarding passes for Android watches via its API available now on developer.aero. SITA’s boarding pass API is already in use at major airlines including JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic.

A simple alert via Android Wear technology will remind the passenger of their flight at the appropriate time and location. A quick swipe reveals the boarding pass and a second swipe displays the barcode allowing the passenger to get through the airport checkpoints and board the plane.

Jim Peters, CTO, SITA, said, “We have done considerable research into the use of wearable technology for the air transport industry and this is the first step to enable passengers to use their own wearable devices as they make their way through the airport.

“SITA’s boarding pass is fully compliant with international regulations, including the TSA, so can be used at airports across the world. We’ve made this available through our industry API platform so it will be interesting to see which airlines will be the early adopters.”

SITA provides a selection of APIs for airlines and airports on its developer.aero platform including ones for beacons, baggage tracking and iTravel. Because the boarding passes are delivered via API a simple mark up in the code, which takes less than two minutes, enables Google Now operation and allows smartwatches to be a useful travel tool.

Peters, added, “Smartwatches haven’t really taken off just yet but the predictions are very strong. The SmartWatch Group reports that 40 companies launched smartwatches in 2013 and it predicts these devices will become indispensable in the years to come. SITA has now made it possible for airlines to be ready for boarding when these wearable tech devices go mainstream.”

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