PHOTO: England's Birmingham Airport. (photo via Flickr/Elliott Brown)
The U.K.'s Birmingham Airport is the latest to implement BLIP Systems' BlipTrack queue management technology, a sensor-based solution that benefits airport management and passengers alike by providing real-time data on wait times.
The solution relies on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sensors that detect various mobile devices — including smartphones and tablets — to determine specific movement patterns and travel times.
The real-time data allows airport management to respond quickly to potential disruptions and provides air travelers with an enhanced experience by providing accurate live wait times on screen.
"The solution is used at the north immigration hall to measure and predict the wait time at the U.K. Border. The data really helps to understand the actual wait time for the border, and helps discussion with the United Kingdom Border Force (UKBF) planning team and resourcing plans for the future," said Birmingham Airport's head of terminal operations Chris Wilson in a statement.
"By sharing the information on screens, we help reduce passenger frustration by creating realistic wait time expectations. It makes the passengers feel more relaxed and helps them to better plan the final elements of their journey as well as onward travel," he added.
BLIP Systems' marketing manager Christian Bugislaus Carstens said many airports measure dwell times of people leaving the line to determine wait times. However, that doesn't always produce accurate results.
"BlipTrack combines and analyzes both the number of people in line and the average throughput of the area," Carstens said in a statement.
"With these two measurements, accurate wait times can be displayed."
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Currently, the technology is being used by more than two dozen international airports around the world, including New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Wilson said that Birmingham Airport has plans to incorporate BlipTrack in other parts of the facility, including the southbound security and immigration areas.
In addition to airports, BlipTrack is being used to monitor road traffic in some places as well as wait times at train stations, ports, ski resorts and amusement parks.