IoT service provider Sigfox and travel platform provider Amadeus have entered into a strategic partnership that aims to help efficient asset-tracking at airports and airline facilities.
After a year-long collaboration investigating business opportunities within the travel industry, both companies came out with the jointly developed PinPoint, an asset-tracking solution, which will be made available next year.
The announcement was made at Sigfox Connect 2019 in Singapore last week.
“Sigfox technology is unique in its ability to track objects seamlessly across the globe, and at such a low cost. Combining Amadeus expertise and partners’ network in travel with Sigfox technology, we can enable luggage tracking at a price which is within what consumers are ready to pay for, and thus bring peace of mind to billions of travellers.” Marion Mesnage, head of research for innovation and ecosystems at Amadeus.
The solution will be initially targeted for airports and airlines with trackers optimally designed - connected and communicating through the Sigfox 0G global network and managed through the PinPoint platform.
It leverages Sigfox IoT expertise and unique 0G network while harnessing Amadeus trusted relationships within the travel industry to reduce costs for airlines and airports, deliver higher operational efficiency, generate ancillary revenues, and increase customer satisfaction.
Reducing the cost of asset tracking
Every year, airports and airlines handle billions of pieces of luggage and high-value assets which are often lost, damaged or delayed leading to high financial losses for the whole value chain, a lack of operational efficiency, and increasing dissatisfaction for travellers.
Meanwhile, existing tracking technologies require expensive infrastructure updates, such as gates and readers and provide limited interoperability and geolocation capabilities. In parallel, regulation is increasingly demanding, especially the new IATA Resolution 753 on luggage tracking which imposes stricter tracking and increased visibility requirements to reduce luggage loss rates.
With this in mind, PinPoint aims to provide a new journey for travel industry assets through reusable, cost and energy-efficient, and globally connected trackers that offer airports and airlines access to real-time information about the location of luggage and high value assets, such as spare-parts, landing gear, Unit Load Devices (ULD) and much more.
Deploying reusable tags
Through reusable tags placed on luggage, proximity sensors installed across airports and Sigfox global coverage, airlines will be able to monitor luggage, accurately tracking its location and detecting anomalies. For high-value assets such as ULDs, airlines will be able to use this technology to collect data, enabling ULDs to report any movement, so optimizing ULD management and significantly reducing the risk of loss.
Sigfox Bubble technology, an innovative beaconing solution enabling proximity detection, will also be developed and deployed in collaboration with Sigfox new partner Alps Alpine, one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of electronics components. By managing the emission power, Sigfox Cloud adapts the range of the Bubble, from less than one meter to a few tens of meters, improving the accuracy of the device’s location. Thus, when entering a Bubble cell, Sigfox devices and associated assets share their identification to the cloud providing a highly accurate location for each asset.
Eyeing a joint venture
The alliance between Sigfox and Amadeus, which aims in time to become a joint venture, is the starting point of a new journey that could revolutionize the travel industry.
Although airports and airlines are the main targets initially, in the future, both companies hope to reach out to new sectors like hospitality to offer end-to-end tracking solutions that will cover the full traveller journey.
“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Amadeus and share our combined expertise to create real digital transformation of the travel sector,” said Raouti Chehih, chief adoption officer at Sigfox. “Our strategic alliance named PinPoint will not only help to improve the travel experience, but this will also change completely the game for an industry looking for decades for THE technology able to save costs while improving efficiency and quality of services.”