Japan Airlines may be first to give its ground staff smart watches for better coordination

29th July 2014
Japan Airlines may be first to give its ground staff smart watches for better coordination
Watch IT! JAL ground staff get departure gate updates on their smart watch from a control desk

Tokyo, July 29, 2014: Japan Airlines is the first airline to experimentally equip its  boarding gate agents with smart watches to improve efficiency.  Starting July 16, the airline with help from  Nomura Research Institute has started  demonstration-tests of iBeacon and smartwatch for the airline’s airport passenger service.
At Haneda airport’s Domestic Terminal 1, beacons installed at each boarding gate can pinpoint the location of JAL’s boarding gate staff with BLE devices. The information of each staff’s location and the whole assignment can be simultaneously mastered by controller desk in back office. JAL aims to serve passengers better with an immediate response and be able to efficiently assign staff in the front line by using the advanced technology. Frontline staff can check and share the latest information related to their business activities by using wearable  devices like smartwatches.
In addition to trial of GALAXY S5 and GALAXY Gear2, JAL also plans to test other latest smartwatches such as Android Wear based LG G Watch  
 Tech note: 
iBeacon introduced in 2013 is a transmitter that can notify nearby Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) devices of their presence. iBeacon is the trademark of Apple Inc.
 Smartwatch: A computerized wristwatch communicating with smartphone that can display information or run mobile apps.
Wearable device: Miniature electronic devices that are worn by the bearer under, with or on top of clothing with features such as picture display, cell phone and emailing etc.  
Android Wear: A version of Google’s Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables.
 LG G Watch: LG Electronics Inc. started selling LG G Watch (smartwatch) on June 26 2014. LG G Watch is powered by Android Wear ( Source: JAL release)

Future Travel Experience.com  says:
While Japan Airlines is not the first carrier to trial iBeacons, it is the first to use the technology to track members of staff. American Airlines, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic, all of which have recently announced significant iBeacon implementations, have all opted to use the technology to interact directly with passengers. 
Both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic will share their respective experiences of working with iBeacons and wearable technology in the ‘On the Ground’ conference at FTE Global 2014, which will take place in Las Vegas from 24-26 September 2014.