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 fly2houston.com 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 fly2houston.com 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 fly2houston.com 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 fly2houston.com 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 fly2houston.com 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): http://iahmaps.fly2houston.com

William P. Hobby Airport (HOU:  http://houmaps.fly2houston.com

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All Airports Need to Have This App

Houston airports have rolled out a handy tool for enjoying the preflight experience.

If you’re dashing through one of the two major Houston airports to catch a connecting flight and you’ve got no idea where to head next, rest assured—there’s an app for that. And it’s free.

The app, dubbed “Maps Online,” serves up turn-by-turn directions inside George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). According to a recent story in the Houston Business Journal, the wayfinding tool resides on the Fly2Houston.com website and does not require users to download a separate piece of software.

The technology debuted this week and works on mobile, laptop, and tablet devices.

Specifically, once users input a destination, the new app offers both graphical and text directions, along with step-by-step instructions of where to head next and estimated travel times. If you log on from a mobile device, the estimated travel times will update in real time, depending on your pace.

The HBJ story adds that a search feature will help users locate certain points of interest, including individual gates, places to catch ground transportation, ticket kiosks, and security checkpoints.

Put simply, the app will function like Google or Apple Maps, only inside the airport. The technology isn’t made by one of those big tech companies; instead, it’s the brainchild of a Bay Area–based startup named LocusLabs. The company specializes in indoor wayfinding tools. Houston airports are the first worldwide to offer this iteration.

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DFW first US airport to introduce food ordering through its mobile app

Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport is the first in the US to introduce mobile food ordering. Travellers can now order and pay using the official DFW mobile app. M2mobi has implemented the new feature for both the iOS and Android versions of the app.

The pre-order functionality is part of DFW’s ongoing efforts to improve passengers’ experience, and make its services more accessible. In the DFW app, visitors can order food directly from the list of over 20 restaurants with the green ‘mobile ordering’ icon. The app also makes it easy to pay in advance. Once travellers place their order, they receive a confirmation and it appears in their ‘order history’. The app then navigates users to the restaurant of their choice.

“The passenger journey is going to change drastically the coming years. These kind of innovations are a good start for making your journey more delightful,” comments Michiel Munneke, Director, M2mobi.

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LocusLabs takes the challenge of mapping the Great Indoors

Campbell Kennedy has been known to push a baby stroller over every navigable inch of an airport, but the “baby” is a piece of mapping technology.

“It maps out an entire floor plan,” he said.

Kennedy got into the mapping trade when his startup, 510 Systems, acquired Google Street View as a customer; in turn, Google acquired 510 Systems.

Three years ago, he decided to tackle a harder task — indoor mapping – and founded LocusLabs.

“Indoor mapping is harder because there’s no GPS, and things are always being moved around,” Kennedy said.

Apple and Google have been slow to rise to the challenge of indoor mapping on their apps. But at its recent Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a shift in focus for Apple Maps to indoor spaces such as airports and shopping malls.

LocusLabs is working with both Apple and Google to ensure that travelers don’t waste time getting lost in airports.

Kennedy said the two companies provide the “you-are-here” blue dot. LocusLabs tells travelers where “here” is and what is around them.

Major airlines such as American, United and Lufthansa have embedded the maps in their mobile apps, but the management of the information is in the hands of the airport authority. “They control the space,” Kennedy said.

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