Singapore's Changi Airport has unveiled a five-year programme called Living Lab which will allow live testing of technology products and services within the airport.
The airport is partnering with the Singapore Economic Development Board to invest $50 million in the programme which is similar to other recent incubators launched in travel.
The idea is for Changi to work with startups and other companies to develop and test new products at the airport and the lab will focus on a number of areas.
- Automation and robotics – to ensure resources are used most efficently
- Data analytics and the Internet of Things – to look at opportunities for gathering real-time information within the airport and enable it to make better decisions on operators. It will also look at data on consumer behaviour to gauge habits and preferences so relevant products and services can be created.
- Non-intrusive security technologies – Changi Airport will look at how it can reduce stress and improve the passenger experience through better security processes.
- Smart infrastructure management – will look at how sensors and IoT can help improve processes.
It has become quite a trend in the travel industry in the past year to set up an incubator, accelerator or similar startup programme.
Or, in other words, try to bring some more agile thinking into the organisation.
Most recently, British Airways-parent IAG Group announced the launch of Hangar 51 accelerator with startups taking part in a 10-week program while Marriott unveiled the first winners of its TestBED accelerator.
EasyJet meanwhile is one of a number of investors in Founders Factory and will act as incubator and accelerator for new products and services.
A statement from Changi Airport says it is already testing some solutions, including cleaning robots while self-driving vehicles to transfer passengers between terminals are also being considered.
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