According to a report formulated by SITA, the airline industry organization, nearly 80% of airlines are planning to invest majorly in smartphone-enabled passenger services over the next three years. Almost one third of airlines worldwide have already invested in IoT programs with 38% of airlines expected to have IoT initiatives up and running in the next three years. So, a total of 67% airlines are turning to IoT. The report also highlights that the airline industry’s interest in beacons has grown considerably since last year as is also evident by the number of beacon deployments at airports that we have seen lately.
Over the past couple of years, airport owners have made significant efforts at adopting new and innovative technologies like iBeacon to create enhanced end-to-end travel experiences via a variety of functions such as wayfinding, flight information, baggage collection, offering loyalty programs and conveying duty-free promotions among others. Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport is the latest airport to join in and deploy 3,000 beacons across its 100,000-square-meter building.
In this post, we will discuss how you can easily create two of the many popular beacon campaigns for your airport – enabling mobile payment for the parking ticket in the airport parking lot and sending updated flight information at the check-in counter, using the Beaconstac platform.
The objective of this campaign is to enable mobile payment for the parking ticket when a user enters an airport parking lot. Send the updated flight information to him/her when he/she reaches the check-in counter.
Step 1: Install beacons in the parking lot and at the check-in counter
Before we begin, the first thing to do is to purchase beacons. Also take a look at our Beaconstac platform, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!
Once you have purchased the beacons, their details such as the UUID, major and minor numbers, will be added to the Beaconstac dashboard (by us) before we ship the beacons to you.
You can name the beacons for easy identification. For the purpose of this campaign, I have named the beacon to be placed in the parking lot as ‘Beacon_Parking’ and the other one placed at the check-in counter as ‘Beacon_Check-in counter’.
Step 2: Create Webhooks
Webhooks, “user defined HTTP, URI callbacks”, are usually triggered by the occurrence of some event. Once it occurs, the source app makes an HTTP request to the URI (also known as URL) configured for the webhook.
We will first create webhooks, a feature that is integrated into the Beaconstac platform, for the beacons to initiate the required processes at both the parking lot and at the check-in counter.
When the airport’s app in the parking lot detects ‘Beacon_Parking’, it will trigger a webhook that will initiate the payment process by sending information to the server.
I will name the first webhook as ‘Pay via Beacon_Parking’. Add the payment gateway’s link to the url section as shown in the image below. Further add ‘Key-value pairs’ that would form a relevant set of information for the process to be initiated. For this webhook, I have added vital information such as merchantID, currency type, and moneyCharged.
In a similar manner, I will add another webhook and name it as ‘Flight Info via Beacon_Check-in counter’. Add the appropriate url and add ‘Key-value pairs’ like clientID. So, when the app detects ‘Beacon_Check-in counter’, it will trigger a webhook. This webhook, with details extracted from the app, will initiate the inquiry process by connecting to the server.
Step 3: Add Rules
Now we add rules for both the beacons so that they trigger the appropriate actions after being detected at the relevant locations.
For the parking lot, I will create a rule named ‘Parking Ticket Payment’. Select ‘Single Beacon’ option and then choose ‘Beacon_Parking’ as the beacon by clicking on the drop down menu.
When the vehicle reaches the parking lot, ‘Beacon_Parking’ will be in the proximity of the app on the user’s phone. As soon as the beacon is detected by the app, it will trigger the webhook call named ‘Pay via Beacon_Parking’. Now you need to choose the time at which the webhook needs to be triggered. Here we choose to trigger it when vehicle enters the beacon zone.
For the check-in counter, I will create a rule named ‘Flight Information Retrieval’. Select ‘Single Beacon’ option and then choose ‘Beacon_Check-in counter’ as the beacon by clicking on the drop down arrow.
When the user reaches the check-in counter, ‘Beacon_Check-in counter’ will be in the proximity of the app on the user’s phone. As soon as the beacon is detected by the app, it will trigger the webhook call named ‘Flight Info via Beacon_Check-in counter’. Choose the time at which the webhook needs to be triggered from the ‘Trigger On’ option. Here let’s trigger the action as soon as the user enters the beacon zone.
Step 4: Add Actions
Since the actions that need to be triggered at both the locations are webhook calls, we will select the action type as ‘Webhook’ and then go on to add the appropriate webhook name.
So for the rule named ‘Parking Ticket Payment’, the webhook to be triggered would be ‘Pay via Beacon_Parking’.
And, for rule named ‘Flight Information Retrieval’, the webhook to be triggered would be ‘Flight Info via Beacon_Check-in counter’.
And we are all set! Now a passenger would be able to pay for his/her parking ticket via the beacon in the parking lot and receive relevant flight information as soon as he/she reaches the check-in counter inside the airport.
Try out this beacon campaign and let me know your thoughts on it. If you have any questions with regards to this campaign or if there is a specific campaign you would like to read about, I’ll be more than happy to share how you set it up using Beaconstac.
If you are planning a beacon pilot, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!