Trend watch: Beacons for augmented reality in airport

Gatwick airport has installed 2000 Beacons inside their terminal buildings as part of their digital transformation program. If you travel regularly you know that in some airports satellite reception and the associated GPS services which enable the likes of Google and Apple maps can be a little bit elusive. Beacons send out a continuous radio signal, so that everyone coming close to it can be notified if apps that link to these devices are installed on your smartphone.

Gatwick also added in an augmented reality way finding tool to their own apps, so passengers can find their way to the right desk in their app with photo view of where they need to go. This is enabled by the Beacons technology. Beacons operate on Bluetooth technology and can send messages to smartphones due to proximity detection.

Beacon technology has been used in retail to tell customer in store with store apps or cards, that special offers are available. In the airport for example airlines, when you checked in through their app can send messages to you to start heading to the gate and potentially give you the route from where you are now.

In terms of it’s application for business, when beacons are installed in maybe formerly inaccessible areas for GPS and satellite, you may be able to send messages to smart phone users. Messages can include learning, rewards, augmented reality based treasure hunts. Imagine learning on the go, having the potential to engage with loyal customers as they walk by your store, etc.

How will you be using this technology?

Here is an infographic created by, one of the Beacon suppliers on the market on how the technology works:

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