During my recent trip to the USA, I came across two examples of existing technology being used to facilitate shopping (duty free) and eating whilst at the airport (F&B).
At Miami Airport, Duty Free Americas or in short, DFA, has made available some unmanned kiosks allowing consumers to order from a number of categories through their ‘DFA Express’ service. This allows you as a consumer to purchase the product and have it available for collection as you embark on your flight. Note that this is common practice in the USA whereby your duty free shopping, on liquor for example, will only be collected at the departure gate.
However, I was more impressed by the technology offering on the Food & Beverage (F&B) at Newark Airport, on my way back home to Scotland. There, all of the various outlets managed by the company OTG, had individual iPads for every single user visiting their outlets. Based on their website, their aim is to reinvent the airport experience as per the following extract.
Our reimagined terminals are the perfect gateways to the cities and regions they serve, integrating here-and-now technology and iconic design with locally sourced dining and market options that create
a sense of place you can actually see, feel, and taste. Because for us, the journey is the destination.
This allowed consumers to use the iPads to browse the options on offer, make their order and complete the payment process either via credit card or airline miles. On top of it, they also offer games, internet browsing, other shopping opportunities, the ability to track your flight, read the news, check for touristic opportunities in New York (such as the helicopter ride), etc.
I was left very impressed by this use of the iPad compared to back home in the UK, and obviously checked that the internet browser worked whilst I was waiting for my order to be ready by having a look at the Inside the Cask website….