Engineering Experiences for the Future Traveller: FTE 2016

Engagement Manager, US
Eric Hemker

October 04, 2016

Valtech had the pleasure of exhibiting at the Future Travel Experience Global event in Las Vegas this year. The event drew attendees and presenters from all over the travel industry, including airlines, airports, hotels, government’s agencies, as well as industry and technology partners like Uber. FTE Global provided a forum to learn the latest plans and visions from the most progressive companies in the travel industry.

A recurring theme throughout the keynote speeches, working sessions and conversations among attendees at FTE was that: Future successes will be driven by innovative ways of utilizing data.

Following this, there were three areas that the industry seemed to be particularly focused on right now:

Automation - Companies are reviewing processes in an effort to eliminate what is not needed and automate any repetitive tasks that remain.

Self Service - Use of hardware and software technology to empower travellers at check in, bag drop, boarding and throughout their trip.

Personalization - Future gaps will be closed by companies that combine the staggering amount of data available from multiple sources in order to create a truly personalized experience.

To quickly achieve success in these areas, airlines in particular are creating innovation labs and venture capital funds to accelerate and implement innovation. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Agile development further increase the speed at which they can continually invent the future.

Valtech’s extensive experience in Travel, Hospitality and Retail led our innovation teams to develop an intelligent-IoT platform that can be easily adapted to solve a variety of problems faced by these stakeholders.

Valtech’s intelligent-IoT technology, which was demonstrated at FTE, can overcome the limitations of identifying the traveller even if their mobile phone is in sleep mode, in their purse or pocket, and among other things, how that can be parlayed into significantly enhancing loyalty programs, ticketing, boarding, and customer experience. We also demonstrated how the same technology could accurately be used to monitor TSA security wait times, or even be used to notify terminal facility managers when restrooms need cleaning.

Security wait times is particularly interesting as multiple conversations with airlines and airports consistently mentioning how passengers viewed their company negatively based on their TSA experience. The ability to set an accurate expectation of wait times could help manage the stress level of the pre-departure, post TSA checkpoint experience. Valtech’s Intelligent-IoT platform can provide this data in real-time. Once enough data is provided in combination with airline flight schedules, we could start using predictive analytics and data science to identify trends and be able to prepare the passenger days in advance of potential delays.

It was rewarding to see the ‘Ah ha!” moments on attendee faces when it became apparent to them how our Intelligent-IoT platform could be customized for each of their unique challenges. Furthermore, it was also our observation that when people think of innovation in the aviation industry the overwhelming consensus was that they leaned towards large hardware solutions that can be extremely cost prohibitive both in terms of manufacturing but also installation on location, as well as providing limited capabilities.

Valtech engineers digital experiences to enhance the overall customer journey through pre-existing hardware to be more cost effective and quicker to implement by leveraging a single, expandable intelligent device. From Digital Innovation Strategy to design, deployment, and integration of Intelligent-IoT platforms, Valtech is uniquely positioned in the industry to help our clients create a much more compelling story and close the connected traveller’s experience gaps.

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