Smart Airport Trolleys Put Wayfinding Screens On Wheels

February 20, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Big digital display totems with wayfinding are good starts in the effort to help airport passengers find their departure gates and services, but available space and significant capital costs for each unit mean there are only so many of them on concourses.

A Danish company called Intelligent Track Systems is trying to address the need in a different way – with “smart” post-security bag trolleys that have screens attached to relay information to passengers as they move around a terminal.

The tablet-sized screens have readers that can scan a boarding pass and locate the gate and update things like departure and boarding times, as well as locate where the passengers are in the terminal and where services – from toilets to restaurants – are located. The smart nature of the things also allows airport operators to get analytics that help show how an airport is being used through tools like heat-maps.

These are not the big baggage trolleys used to haul checked bags to taxis or parking lots. They’re the smaller ones some airports make available to passengers once they’ve gone through all the security screening process. I happily grabbed something like that – no screen, though – connecting through Madrid a couple of weeks ago. The little carts can be back-savers.

The company has special-build trolleys that incorporate the screens, but there is also a retrofit version for those airports that have these cabin baggage trolleys, but no screens.

The smart trolleys are being used at Hyderabad’s airport in south-central India, and they are also in use in Oslo and Munich. They were also tried out in Nice (France), Hamburg, Germany and San Diego in the U.S. There are, of course, going to be operating challenges with things like battery life, re-charging, and durability.

Plus you know someone, somewhere, is stroking his or her chin, and thinking, “Those little screens could have ads!”

The video below hints at that with a “deals” tab related to airport services and retail.

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