The video is in Portuguese, but even with a likely language hurdle you should be able to latch on to the working of this projector-driven plane boarding system now being used by a Brazilian airline at several airports.
The idea is to have overhead projectors at gates organize boarding based on seat assignments shown and shifting on the floor. So if you are in 17C, you enter that shifting, projected box as it progresses to the door and jetway.
The Azul Blue Carpet, the airline says, is a “technological innovation that eliminates the stress from the boarding process. Projectors and screens around the boarding area create a moving carpet visual on the floor allowing customer to simply follow this projected carpet when their row or group is called.”
“On average, this innovation reduces boarding times by 25% while maximizing customer health and safety.”
This is another explainer, found (in all places!) on TripAdvisor:
Azul has adapted its “Tapete Azul” (blue carpet) boarding system to increase social distancing during boarding process… it uses projections on the floor to show where each passenger (according to seat number) should be… it was already in test in Curitiba (CWB) airport since late last year to speed up boarding process, but with advent of covid19, it was tweaked to increase distances…
Azul plans to expand it to 17 airports till end of year, covering about 70% of its domestic flights…
Very interesting stuff. Given most modern or upgraded airports use a lot of curtain glass at gates, ambient light will be a challenge, and bright laser projectors are not cheap.
You also have to teach people how to use this, which will be easy for experienced business travellers but a potential nightmare when dealing with people who rarely fly.
If you cast your mind back to those days, six months and further back, when we got on planes regularly, you’ll recall all those people who crowd around gates, seemingly fearful the plane will leave without them. The simple boarding zone thing is over their heads, so following floor projections would be mind-blowing.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.