KLM is offering another test deployment of beacons in airports, using the technology to provide automatic in-terminal navigation for travelers.

The buzz surrounding iBeacons in airports has been deafening over the past 12 months, and yet there haven’t been many practical applications announced by non-airport entities. Some organizations have seen successful tests of the beacons, such as this SITA Lab report, yet most travelers have yet to experience a true practical application of the technology.

KLM’s indoor navigation service acts as a route planner for those transferring from one flight to another at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The automated nature of the service is especially compelling, as it allows the passenger to take advantage of this service seamlessly. Upon landing, the passenger’s device is pinged with an airport map. The map has the required route highlighted, in addition to the time required to complete the transfer.

Martijn van der Zee, Senior Vice President E-Commerce at Air France KLM sees this as an essential extension of KLM’s technology-forward and customer-centric culture:

Customer feedback, especially on social media, has told us that passengers – even experienced travellers – often worry about transferring to another flight. 67% of passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are transfer passengers. KLM aims to improve customers’ travel experience with this service.

To take advantage of the service, KLM passengers must download and install the branded app, and then switch on Bluetooth for monitoring. Once a passenger passes a beacon, the time to destination is updated, thus accounting for different travelers’ speeds.

One caveat is that the device does need access to a data connection to deliver the map upfront, a challenge that may be alleviated by the free WiFi at Schiphol.

This beacon deployment follows news from EasyJet, where the airline began using beacons to track travelers whereabouts to deliver proximity-based discounts and information.

The KLM service is available now for Android smartphones and will be on Apple devices from the end of September.

Original author: Nick Vivion