A new consumer app being marketed to airports aims to put passengers "in a spending mood" and turn the airport experience into something that might resemble a few hours at a giant shopping mall.
In fact, the indoor navigation technology used in the new mobile app, Airport U, is already used in 850 shopping malls in the U.S., says Airport U Ltd., which was founded by Airport Commercial Development and IT and retail professionals, with offices in the UK, Sweden and Ireland.
Airport U can be rebranded to the particular airport and offers advertisers direct promotions to consumers based on their profiles; coupons with 2D barcodes; point to point guidance and interactive maps; ground transportation booking and parking; augmented reality; passenger tracking; as well as games and betting, the company says.
"Airport U will give the consumer the freedom of shopping and booking transport and car parks at home or on the go," says Ian Lowden, Airport U founder. "They'll have more time airside and we expect it to become a vital tool in marketing and in increasing commercial revenues."
As travelers are getting to airport parking lots and making their ways through the terminal, Airport U intends to enable airports and shops to target passengers with games and promotions.
The company, which debuted the app recently at the ACI Europe Airport Trading Conference & Exhibition in Dublin, says Continental Airlines and Clear Channel Airports "already use the technology"; Dublin Tourism's Visit Dublin app deploys the directional search and augmented reality features; and Starbucks utilizes the 2D barcode coupon redemption techology in more than 8,000 cafes in the U.S.
"Our commercial strategy is based upon the assumption that a happy passenger makes a much more likely consumer," the company says.
In other words, that's happy passengers buying lots of stuff at an airport near you.
There's a company video about Airport U toward the bottom of this page.