Millennials are one of the most travel-savvy demographics, with many having been well-seasoned travellers since childhood, writes Andy Besant.

In fact, 61% of 25 to 34 year olds first flew by the age of 10, according to research from airport lounge provider, Club Aspire.

Coupled with an ever-expanding list of destinations and increasingly affordable flights, it’s the norm for younger people to take to the skies several times a year. Especially with social media driving awareness of unique destinations around the world.

Indeed, a new wave of wanderlust is seeing millennials and Generation Zers increasingly travel off the beaten track – aided by modern technologies to plan, enhance, capture and share every aspect of their journey…….

…….Technology companies such as LocusLabs use beacons to underpin wayfinding apps in airport terminals, offering passengers a helpful, real-time way of navigating to nearby restaurants, airport facilities and their departure gate.

Priority Pass in app airport maps uses this technology to help members locate available lounges and other airport amenities, providing a hassle free travel experience – useful for those who might be facing a short layover.

These capabilities particularly cater to the younger generation for whom digital navigation is key; millennials have been found to use mobile-based maps on at least a weekly basis.

• Paperless boarding and virtual loyalty cards:A well-established feature, mobile boarding passes that slot easily into travellers’ virtual wallets and smartwatches, make getting through security or making a purchase a far more streamlined experience.

Tech-savvy passengers no longer face rifling through their carry-on luggage for their boarding pass and can instead breeze through boarding gates with a turn of the wrist.

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United Airlines is rolling out “ConnectionSaver” technology across the board after successful trials in Denver and Chicago. The new tool has great potential.


Gate agents often will not hold a flight because of the unknown ripple effects of doing so. Say you hold a flight for five minutes to allow for a group of delayed connecting passengers to board. That five-minute delay may cause a 20-minute delay in takeoff due to a missed takeoff slot. Suddenly, instead several passengers faced missed connections and the next flight on that aircraft also faces delay.

But what if gate agents could know with high certainty if holding the fight would negatively implicate take-off time and connecting passengers onboard? What if gate agents knew that six extra minutes was okay, but not eight? That technology is now here with United’s ConnectionSaver tool.

What is ConnectionSaver?

United explains the multi-faceted nature of its ConnectionSaver technology:

ConnectionSaver is powered by new technology that automatically identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers, while ensuring those who have already boarded the aircraft arrive at their destination on time. ConnectionSaver also sends personalized text messages to every connecting customer (who has opted in to receive notifications) with clear directions to the gate for their connecting flight and information about how long the walk will take.

United’s ConnectionSaver technology automatically scans flights for customers who are making tight connections to determine if the connecting flight can be held without inconveniencing other customers. The ConnectionSaver tool takes into account factors such as the time it will take for late connecting customers to travel gate-to-gate as well as the impact the hold may have on other flights and customers.

Experts detail what to expect across geoindustries in 2019

2018 was an exciting year for the geospatial industry; Google Maps API pulling the rug from under developers’ feet notwithstanding. The power of crowdsourced location data came to fore when Snap Map became the unofficial source of on-ground reporting during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in the US. Artificial intelligence programs extracted road networks from aerial imagery (with astonishing success rates) and helped local taxi operators to outshine the Ubers of the world. Google and Mapbox focused on location-based gamification, while HERE chased indoor mapping by acquiring Micello and partnering with Jibestream.

Recalling some of the many developments from geospatial industry in 2018 made us wonder: What should we expect this year? We turned to the insiders for answers!

Augmented reality will come of age

Martin StrigačCEO, Sygic

“Augmented reality is not a fresh topic, but until recently, tech companies haven’t been capable of utilizing this technology and bringing it to wider masses. In past months we have observed solutions ranging from assisted reality glasses used for repair and maintenance to augmented reality apps for schools. Complex solutions for car and motorbike drivers will follow soon. The potential of connecting the real world with digital is in our industry almost inexhaustible. Imagine the real-life situation, when your navigation will identify dangerous situation on the road and will help you to decide what action to take.”

Making sensors and systems geo-aware

Campbell KennedyCEO, LocusLabs

“I am most excited about the incorporation of real-time and transient data into geospatial applications. So much of IoT and smart building applications involve spatial awareness and queryability, but historically, many of the sensors and systems are isolated and not geo-aware. In reality, our world is constantly changing, especially as we start representing smaller and smaller objects like cars, people, furniture, etc. Powerful geospatial frameworks designed for representing and managing data for these applications will unlock new realms of analysis and intelligence.”

Better counter-drone technology and UTM

Brooke TapsallFounder and CEO, DroneALERT

“Counter-UAV, geofencing, and unmanned traffic management (UTM) are the developments I’m most keenly watching in the drone industry this year. The use of location data for counter-UAV is still growing as an idea to be fully embraced with confidence by the authorities. Its complimentary avenues are also not being fully explored as of now. In the wake of the recent UK airports drone incidents at Gatwick and Heathrow, I feel if the technology were in place, the use of location data could have aided the investigations. Further, though geofencing and UTM technologies have been incorporated into some drones now, they are still in a developing stage – albeit with great potential and necessity for future drone flights and drone management in the skies.”

The year of ‘live’ location data

Jimmy PerronCEO, NSim Technologies

“In our view, in 2019, we will see more and more business trying to leverage their ‘live’ location data. The combination of geospatial data (GIS) and live IoT data will drive the adoption of real-time business processes in multiple industries. The IoTs field focuses mainly on objects that are connected to the cloud space by focusing on how and what. However, by adding a where to the equation, we open ourselves up to a world of new opportunities by enabling ‘location intelligence’. With more than 75 billion of connected devices by 2020, this is, for sure, an aspect that cannot be ignored by the geospatial domain.”

Intelligent algorithms and smart predictive analysis

Manish ChoudharySVP, Global Products & Strategy, SMB Solutions, Pitney Bowes

“Artificial intelligence is a technology that is fueling innovation in every domain including geospatial industry. Using intelligent algorithms, data classification and smart predictive analysis, AI has large utility in GIS applications, such as traffic congestion, ride sharing, logistics, surveying, and infra. AI/ML algorithms are helping create solutions using the core asset of geospatial technology – data. One of the biggest examples of AI using GIS data is autonomous vehicles. It will be interesting to see how AI technology shapes some of the biggest developments in this sector.”

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DHS Awards $119K to Locuslabs, Inc for Intelligent Wayfinding Tech

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced Sept. 10, that LocusLabs Inc. of Oakland, California has received $119,100 to develop wayfinding technology as part of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

LocusLabs received their award under the Real Time, Intelligent Traveler Wayfinding for the Federal Inspection Stations and Aviation Environment (Wayfinding) solicitation which seeks solutions to enhance the customs process for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ports of entry.

The proposed solution is LocusMaps, an interactive navigation tool that would allow for bi-directional communication, meaning users can receive information from CBP on how to better navigate the customs process while airports receive information allowing them to identify and analyze bottlenecks.

“Enabling communication between travelers and CBP is an important feature in intelligent wayfinding,” said Arun Vemury, an S&T Borders and Maritime Program Manager. “Current wayfinding methods are typically a multitude of static signs directing travelers to queues. It can be difficult for some travelers to know which queue is right for them. Bi-directional communication would allow CBP to tailor instructions to better inform and serve travelers and to provide a more streamlined process.”

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The Smart Airport is a Very Different Prospect to Other Smart Buildings

You may not be surprised to hear that there has been another partnership between a lighting firm and an IT company. Such has been the surge of lighting into the IT sector that it seems that every month we see a new IT – lighting relationship forming.

Many have been strategic partnerships while others are more high profile acquisitions. Just in the last few years for example; Redwood Systems was bought by CommScope; Distech Controls was acquired by Acuity Brands for $252 million; Daintree Networks was bought by GE’s Current for $77 million.More recently Sensity Systems was bought by Verizon and OSRAM acquired Digital Lumens. Partnerships meanwhile are too numerous to list in this article.

Some deals are a little different however, and spark a more interesting discussion on the smartification of our lighting systems. The recent deal between LED lighting stalwart Acuity Brands and indoor mapping software specialist LocusLabs may seem typical at first glance. However, the scale and progressive nature of Acuity combined with LocusLabs transport specific market points to a continuing smart building trend – the smart airport.

Airports have long been at the forefront of technology, especially security technology in this day and age. High energy prices have also driven airports to seek out strategies for greater energy efficiency through lighting and HVAC – the foundation of the smart building movement. However, few airports have brought all their connected systems together in a way that we could be confident to call a truly smart airport.

The reality is that an airport is a very different prospect to other smart buildings, and it is likely for this reason that deployment of integrated smart systems have been relatively slow. In many ways an airport is more like a city than a building, with a broad variety of activities and a nature fairly independent of its surrounding environment.

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Acuity teams with indoor mapping firm that has big airport presence

The LED smart lighting stalwart adds another arrow to its navigation quiver, joining forces with LocusLabs, which has outfitted DFW and others

Another day, another matchup between a lighting company and an IT firm in an effort to turn lighting infrastructure into intelligent data networks. This time, LED lighting stalwart Acuity Brands has teamed with LocusLabs, an indoor mapping software specialist which has provided wayfinding programs to major airports such as Dallas/Fort Worth International.

LocusLabs is enabling its “location as a service” technology to work with Acuity’s Atrius, which is Acuity’s catch-all brand of an ever-widening set of smart lighting and lighting-based Internet of Things (IoT) services.

Acuity already offers indoor positioning services (IPS) through Atrius, so LocusLabs adds another arrow to the Acuity IPS quiver. LocusLabs has already installed its technology at airports including DFW as well as Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, helping passengers call up maps on their phones that guide them to terminals and shops. The lights are not involved in those cases.

Atlanta-based Acuity said LocusLabs’ LocusMaps application “powers navigation in hundreds of millions of mobile devices used at airports, retail malls, multi-floor buildings, and campuses, making it easy to search, discover, and navigate large, complex indoor spaces.”

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LocusLabs, Inc. to Expand Capabilities with the Atrius IoT Platform

LocusLabs, Inc. plans to enable its location-as-a-service platform to take advantage of the Atrius IoT platform’s location-based services (LBS) and indoor positioning services (IPS). LocusMaps, the LocusLabs indoor mapping and navigation application, powers navigation in hundreds of millions of mobile devices used at airports, retail malls, multi-floor buildings and campuses, making it easy to search, discover and navigate large, complex indoor spaces.

Leveraging the Atrius IoT platform, LocusLabs plans to develop upgraded mapping and pathing applications that deliver a superior navigation experience for visitors, while enhancing business operations through improved traffic flows and faster time-to-destination.

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Atrius Partner Profile: LocusLabs,Inc

Enabled with Atrius: LocusMaps

Atrius Platform Services Leveraged : Atrius Navigator – Indoor Positioning Services

Applications Served: Airports, Retail, Multi-floor Buildings and Campuses

No Download Required! Houston Airports Debuts World’s First Airport Wayfinding Technology

Finding your way around Houston’s airports is as simple as checking your smart phone now that a new way-finding technology launched on the Houston Airport System’s award-winning website Friday, June 30th.

July 6, 2017

HOUSTON — Finding your way around Houston’s airports is as simple as checking your smart phone now that a new way-finding technology launched on the Houston Airport System’s award-winning website Friday, June 30th.

Working with San Francisco-based company LocusLabs, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)—click here to navigate—and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)—click here to navigate—are the first airports in the world with the turn-by-turn wayfinding technology that doesn’t require downloading a separate app to smart devices.

Passengers can easily access the interactive map technology from any device or browser, whether the device is mobile, desktop or tablet. The easy navigation tool provides “transit path” directions that will take the user from their originating point to their destination with the most direct and efficient path possible. LocusLabs has named this product “LocusMaps Online.”

Both graphic and text directions are provided and each step of the path has turn-by-turn points listed, as well the estimated “walking time” it will take to walk to the destination. As important, it offers searchable navigation, with location information and search terms for points of interest including gates, ground transportation, ticket kiosks, shops, restaurants, security checkpoints, and more.

“For the Houston Airport System, the accessibility of this new technology is as exciting as being chosen as pilot airports for its launch,” said Kathleen Boyd, Head of Marketing for the Houston Airport System. “The fact that there is no app necessary — that travelers at our airports can use it simply by going to on their smart device — offers another powerful and valuable tool to our customers, who already use our passenger journey-focused award-winning website to find a wide variety of information and services on a daily basis. It is another step towards meeting our strategic objective to “Make Our Passengers Happy.”

The website has earned accolades from industry leaders and customers since its re-imagined makeover a year ago. This new technology enhances its passenger journey-focused approach with faster and easier feed updates, providing users with more real-time updates on airport services and amenities as well as up-to-the-minute updates on the airport footprint and points of interest information.

Airport maps are some of the most-visited pages on the website, and with the new technology providing precise navigation throughout both airports — as well as a search engine that can provide information on shopping, dining, gate location and more–this ground-breaking technology advances the Houston Airport System’s goal of providing the most complete and useful information possible to passengers at both airports.

”We are proud to partner with Houston Airport System, whose innovative thinking is bringing IAH and HOU passengers the optimal digital travel experience in whatever channel or app they may be using,” says Campbell Kennedy, Co-Founder and CEO, LocusLabs.

Launched in 2015, LocusLabs is a San Francisco-based company that provides the platform and tools that enable devices to be location-aware on a micro level. LocusLabs is going a level deeper than existing mapping solutions by not only mapping places, but also people, products, and things, using technology that scales. LocusLabs’ mission is to provide global venues, enterprises and brands a digital platform to communicate, share and manage everything about their physical space.

To access these navigation tools, visit:

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH):

William P. Hobby Airport (HOU:

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