Tribune News Network
FOLLOWING the success of its iOS mobile app released earlier this year, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has launched the Android version of its innovative iBeacon enabled HIA Qatar app, offering more of HIA’s customers an interactive experience while travelling through the world’s leading airport.
HIA has also released a major upgrade for its iOS app, which now makes use of Apple’s indoor positioning technology. HIA has partnered with Apple Inc. to become one of a handful of airports globally to have implemented this capability to provide an enhanced navigation experience inside the airport based on the user’s real-time location.
HIA Qatar app’s uniqueness lies in its simplicity in that the ‘landing’ screen identifies the user’s location in the terminal and offers a unified global search to look up a flight by number or destination; and locate amenities, services, shopping and dining options using brand names or key words.
For example, searching for ‘coffee’ or ‘handbags’ will list all the outlets that offer these products, with the nearest one listed first. The user is then assisted with a turn-by-turn navigation to reach their selected destination.
Earlier this year, HIA became one of the few airports in the world to have successfully deployed iBeacons to provide location based services. With a simple scan of the boarding pass and opt-in for location detection, the app provides real-time information about flight status, baggage claim, time and direction to boarding gates and food, beverage and retail offers from Qatar Duty Free (QDF), the airport’s award winning shopping emporium.
To ensure that customers benefit from the best deals, the app alerts users when walking past outlets with ongoing promotions. Currently, the location services primarily address the departure and transfer experience, including retail, dining, boarding gates and other airport amenities; with the coverage being progressively increased.
Suhail Kadri, vice president (Information Technology) at HIA, said:”Investing in state-of-the-art technology is crucial for maintaining our position amongst the top airports in the world. By leveraging our in-house expertise to design and develop; and partnering with industry leaders, we are continuously innovating technology-based services to make a difference for our customers.”
Abdulaziz al Mass, vice president (Commercial and Marketing) at HIA, said:”We aim to provide our passengers with a seamless travel experience; and trust that our latest effort will enable more of our customers to benefit from the improved context and time sensitive information provided by our travel-companion app.”
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