IoT technologies are also being used in innovative ways in the airplane manufacturing industry. “General Electric’s newer engines are packed with sensors that collect data on performance, which informs planning and maintenance,” says Jim Peters, CTO at SITA. “In 2015, we saw increasing adoption of beacon technology to improve the passenger experience. We also saw movement toward real-time analytics.”
As an example of the potential for IoT-related innovation in the aviation industry, Peters cites the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, saying that plane is essentially “a flying data center, when you consider all the sensors and data processing capabilities it has.” Given that Boeing has already built more than 300 Dream liners, that flying data center is quickly becoming an industry standard.
The race is on to develop “smart luggage” products, as startups and established luggage companies see a market opportunity for suitcases equipped with sensors, GPS capabilities and other features designed to help travelers keep track of their bags and more.
Designers Harry Sheikh and Joseph Pagan of Planet Traveler USA raised more than $900,000 from nearly 2,000 people on Kickstarter in 2015 to create the Space Case 1, a smart bag with GPS, fingerprint locks and speakers. The Space Case comes in a carry-on model and a larger check-in model. Few other startups are also developing smart bags, Bluesmart bag is one of them.
Although the Federal Aviation Officialshave a concern of potential abuse of the new technology, the questions are likely to resolve soon.