Etihad Airways and automation technology solutions provider Elenium has unveiled its newly developed voice activated self-service kiosk, bag drop and boarding gate facility at Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE).
Using cloud technology, artificial intelligence, computer vision and natural human interfacing, Etihad Airways and Elenium are demonstrating how they will change the way consumers travel by showcasing the airport experience of the future.
A key area of cooperation involves the use of technologies from Elenium, Etihad Airways and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing subsidiary of Amazon. Together at PTE, the three entities are demonstrating a test concept for a seamless travel experience across the entire customer journey from booking to arrival at the final destination.
The process for using the new facility has been streamlined for simplicity. Passengers check in to their flight and register their biometric data on their mobile device before arriving at the airport, reducing queues at the airport. Using AI, new baggage-drop terminals scan and memorise each suitcase placed on the belt and assign it to the guest reservation, removing the need for tagged luggage. Using biometrics, passengers are identified and offered a personalised, duty-free shopping experience through a voice interactive display, catered to the individual’s interests and needs, and also utilising floor space efficiently.
Customer service kiosks are available throughout terminals to assist with airport information, provide ancillary opportunities, and because the kiosks are portable, provide disruption management. Passengers will board their flight by walking through boarding channels which will automatically validate them without the need for a printed boarding pass – a faster, safer system.
Ilya Gutlin, chief commercial officer at Elenium, told Passenger Terminal Today, “Etihad was looking for a unique and innovative solution. The company saw evidence of our work – such as our Elenium kiosks installed at Hong Kong International Airport – and we began talks.
“We are a small, agile company with both software and hardware solutions. Our products create a seamless passenger experience that impacts some of the key airport touch points. For example, baggage is always a step in the airport process that slows down the self-service experience. Each bag has a biometric footprint far beyond simply its brand and colour – the bag will have scratch marks unique to it, for example. Our BagDNA recognises the bag without the need for a tag.”
Aaron Hornlimann, CEO at Elenium Automation, added, “Everyone talks about the seamless passenger experience in airports and Elenium is really challenging what utilising biometrics can achieve.”
Etihad Airways will also white label the Elenium Voyager App which features booking management, passenger check-in, passport validation, facial biometric enrolment, payment wallet, itinerary management, and companion functions.
Mike Papamichael, VP for technology and innovation at Etihad Airways, commented, “The technological vision and strategy is to make the guest journey a frictionless and digitally enabled experience across all channels and touch points at the airport. Etihad’s relationship with Elenium builds on this vision and along with our micro services strategy, allows us to co-create and develop innovative self-service and biometric solutions for greater flexibility and a seamless guest experience.”