Railways and airports are just two examples of how travel technology is really going to take off in the next few years. The ZDNet website recently reported on a new technology that looks set to enter our travel terminals and make navigating through them even easier.
As the article notes, airports and railway stations may seem busy and chaotic, but they are actually very well-structured spaces. What's more, travellers usually have a few simple objectives during their visit -- such as checking-in, visiting the toilet, finding their gate or platform, and getting to their flight or train in time.
These clear goals and defined landscapes make railway stations and airports the perfect platform for trialing AI software and technologies -- something that is now being explored by experts.
Earlier this month, it was announced that AI humanoid robot Pepper would be deployed across three railway stations in France. The robot, initially developed to work in SoftBank stores across Asia, will welcome visitors to the station, provide helpful information such as train timetables, and guide passengers to where they need to be.
Prior to this, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced the deployment of similar robot called Spencer at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport. Designed to help passengers deal with flight delays and missed connections, Spencer is just one part of the airport's plans to implement more technology to assist those travelling through it.
"KLM is of the opinion that robotics will have a growing impact on air transport in the coming years. We are testing technology in several areas, to assess if and how robotics would augment our processes," explained the airline's vice president, Michel Pozas.
It's not just robots that could be assisting travellers, but the increasing adoption of technology in general. At Indianapolis International Airport, for example, guest services staff are using Double -- a telepresence bot that is essentially a tablet that can travel around -- to come to the help passengers in need.
It's also likely that airport visitors will be able to download accompanying apps on their tablets and smartphones, so that they can communicate with these airport devices and find their way around more easily.
Either way, the likes of Pepper and Spencer clearly demonstrate the growing opportunities for technological innovation in this sector of the travel industry.