With an increase in interest around quicker and automatic payments alongside the need for easier and more efficient interactions. We have seen companies start to invest heavily in automatic systems which aim to make our everyday lives easier. See the Amazon Go concept store for example.
From going to the airport where you have checked in ahead of time, through to using your contactless cards and devices to pass through barriers on the London Underground. We can see that this quick information exchange is starting to reduce queues in lots of everyday activities which means our journey times have become more streamlined and less of a chore.
Recently we have now seen Hitachi Rail in the news developing technology to further streamline our daily commute, so it becomes less of a faff. Their technology tracks when passengers board and leave trains and automatically charges there account the correct fare. The intention is to prevent long queues at stations and at the ticketing offices or machines. The technology responds with an app on the user’s phone and doesn’t require the person to get the smart device out their pockets or bags for it to work.
This technology could also be used to cover large stretches of the country and include different modes of transport further making travelling by public transport a much easier and desirable option.
Currently being trialled in Italy, Hitachi’s concept is already anticipated to hit the UK and could potentially be the precursor for the rest of Europe following suit.
So where could this technology be heading? Well, the increased number of wearable tech items hitting the market we could see these devices form part of the process. With AppleWatch already able to pay contactless and interact with other apps on our phone, we would potentially start to see similar devices becoming personal data holding capabilities. These, with a swipe or signal, are then poised and ready for any system that requires authentication. We might start to see the humble small rectangular pieces of plastic disappear altogether.
Cross vehicle travel interaction also seems to become more unified. During long journeys that require two or three different modes of transport, they could all sync with each other. A company called Amedeus is working with airline companies to connect to cars and wearables transforming the experience beyond airport terminals. Your car could interact with the airport ahead of time and all the travelling data can be pushed to your smart wearables, meaning you could receive travel data live improving the experience overall.
We could see technology also combined with Big Data analytics to allow real-time insights into customer behaviour meaning companies can anticipate their needs with relevant offers or services. As a result, the travel experience will become more personalised – all aboard!