The importance of technology in travel and tourism can not be underestimated and one area where is it really taking off is within airports. Online bookings and mobile technology are on the rise, leading to a growth in paperless check-ins and boarding passes, and Virgin have even purchased Google glass appliances for their concierge staff to enhance their potential. The next logical step in the chain is to bring the codes and boarding passes of smartphones to the latest trend in wearable technology – smartwatches. It is easy to believe that we will all be wearing devices like these at some point in the not too distant future, expecting to be able to use technology at every stage of the journey through the airport, and Airberlin, Vueling and Iberia are each taking full advantage of these expectations.
Iberia are paving the way for a more convenient passenger experience via smartwatch applications.
The applications for these devices are still in the early stages and there are only three models that would currently be supported – Pebble Smartwatch, Sonya's Smartwatch 2 and the Samsung Smartwatch Gear 2 – but the potential is clear and there is so much hope and development in the project that Iberia are already making adjustments for a new, improved version of their app. This second version would allow for synchronisation between the phone that the traveller used to check-in and the smartwatch for more convenient, paperless boarding passes. Furthermore, developers are looking even further ahead, taking about the prospect of smartwatches offering a more personalised travel experience via individual itineraries and tour guides tailored to the destination.
For many travellers, these proposals may sound incredibly futuristic and beyond current means but it wasn't that long ago that the same would have been said for mobile boarding passes in general. New technology is an integral part of developing air travel and passenger satisfaction and these smartwatches are surely the next step in that journey, meaning airlines like the forward-thinking Iberia are smart to latch onto their potential and lead the way.