Any new advancement or innovation adoption comes with its own set of challenges. As the Internet of Things (IoT) is being embraced by more industries, this fact holds true to the travel and tourism industry as well. There is a famous hierarchy called the DIKW Hierarchy or the DIKW Pyramid, that suggests that to attain Wisdom in the age of innovation, one must first accomplish the first three base levels – Data, Information, and Knowledge.
It looks a little like this:
Image Source: Wikipedia
So when it comes to the Travel and Tourism industry, which stage are we at? Somewhere between the first and second, we’d say. We are in a stage of immense data collection and creation, which inevitably leads to a mountain of information that we could use for the benefit of the industry. And eventually, level up to Knowledge.
Here are some ways this is already happening:
Smart luggage is a boon to the ones bitten by the wanderlust bug. As the name suggests, this is no regular baggage. Equipped with GPS locators, solar-powered batteries, remote lock systems, portable charging devices, and a mechanism to track the luggage in an airport, this luggage is the innovation we didn’t realize we needed so badly.
A word most brands and companies struggle with achieving, personalized travel experiences will only boost this industry with its give-more-receive-more factor. Within hotel rooms, smart tablets could be used to control the cabin temperature, control the TV, elevate the bed, control the lighting, and even set wake-up calls.
In addition to this, smart keys could also be sent to a guest’s smartphone, to restrict and secure access.
IoT is a boon for regular flyers as well. There is so much this technology is capable of providing, even mid-air – from embedded sensors in seats that measure anxiety levels, heart rate, blood pressure, hydration level and more – so the cabin crew can better facilitate them.
This also extends to providing a better experience before boarding. From tracking luggage to providing real-time flight status information, directions to the specific gate, information about the security checks or customs and immigration, and more.
All this is not far-fetched. Places like the Helsinki and Miami Airports and representatives at Lufthansa, Hilton, and Marriott have already adopted this technology and have largely benefited from it.
At this rate, it isn’t far before we jump to the Knowledge, and soon after, the Wisdom phase in the DIKW Hierarchy.0.