San Diego tests airport solutions

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Airport-oriented solutions ranging from autonomous security robots to an augmented reality experience are being field tested in the Airport Innovation Lab at San Diego International Airport.

The third group of innovators welcomed into the Lab’s 16-week program consists of six companies. Until December 13, they will beta test and refine their ideas in an operating airport setting. The lab occupies part of the former Commuter Terminal building at San Diego. The six companies and their concepts are:

• Cloud Club – Purposeful daydreaming sessions to reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance overall well-being;
• Lift Your Eyes – Virtual and augmented reality experience targeting pre-teens and teens with travel-oriented content;
• Lorenzo Designs – Flexible, programmable, illuminated LED stanchion belts to direct traffic and improve way-finding;
Nüdel Kart – Mobile, deconstructable play carts to engage children in playful learning in an airport;
• NXT Robotics – Autonomous robots to support airport security monitoring that employ “cognitive software”; and
• QBRIO Inc.– Turning automobiles (initially the BMW I-3 model) into private lounge-like transport for the professional traveler.

“This may be our most exciting batch to date,” said Rick Belliotti, director of customer experience and innovation at San Diego Airport. “These are groundbreaking ideas that address and potentially improve the airport experience.”

At the end of the program, successful innovators have the potential to win a contract from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the airport’s owner and operator, and/or gain entry to other airports and similar businesses, including other transportation hubs; convention centers; shopping malls; and large venues such as ballparks, theme parks and hotels.

The Airport Innovation Lab will begin recruiting for its fourth group of innovators in late autumn 2019.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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