No matter how advanced phone mapping technologies have become, stepping into an airport takes you back several decades into the era of physical maps. With no other way for unseasoned travels to get around besides large map kiosks, airport navigation has long been due for an upgrade.
As a part of its new, updated app launching later today, United Airlines is integrating intelligent indoor mapping technology into its mobile app for iOS. So far, the United app has been downloaded over 19 million times. An update for Android with the same features is expected this Fall.
“This is a very specific technology that talks to a real need of the customer,” explained Shannon Kelly, Director of eCommerce Planning and Delivery at United. “We had the technology, we had the customer need for it.”
Carlos Faxas, Manager of New Technology and Digital Concepts at United, explained that the idea resulted from an internal search for technology that improved the airport experience for customers. “United wants to drive a more contextual experience,” he said.
The search led United to San Francisco-based Locus Labs, a company that builds platforms for indoor mapping.