Arrow and IBM team up to bring IoT to Airports

Arrow and IBM are working together to bring IoT to airports for more efficient travel

Arrow Electronics reportedly announced its new collaborative concept project with IBM: an end-to-end IoT solution intended for a future of smart airports.

Improving Customer Experiences

In an external webinar for the Smart Airport Asset Management Solution (hosted on IBM’s media site), Arrow demonstrated the key reasons to have smart airports and the potential paint points thereof.

Arrow contextualized the program with an analysis of the drivers for smart airports.

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A primary motivation behind the collaborative project is accelerating global airport traffic growth, from both tourists and business travelers. As this growth continues, difficult customer journeys through the airport, delayed or lost baggage, and other negative outcomes increase in frequency. And poor customer experiences are bad for business.

“An increase of every 1% in customer experience translates to a 1.5% increase in non-aeronautical revenue,” a slide from Arrow’s external webinar read. The solution aims to improve customer experience by “monitor[ing] key assets, predict[ing] equipment failure and initiat[ing] proactive maintenance workflows.”

Data-Driven IoT

Baggage claim improvements are the biggest topic described by Arrow in its sharing of the Smart Airport Asset Management Solution.

Through the monitoring and measuring of the moving parts in airports—like gearboxes and conveyor belts’ vibration, noise, and temperature—Arrow and IBM aim to preempt the technology issues commonly seen in airports that frustrate customers most.

IBM’s biggest contribution to the joint effort is in its Watson artificial intelligence, which provides a flexible and secure IoT platform for the airport to build upon. This introduces data analytics to the system, enabling the insights and management controls similarly seen in modern fleet management IT systems.

As IoT already makes waves in the improvement of heavy machinery, the Arrow-IBM joint concept over smart airports may be closer to reality than some might otherwise think.

The introduction of IoT technologies to airports could bring with it not just better customer experiences in terms of avoiding negative outcomes, but also future developments like 5G-enabled edge computing systems. Despite increasing security needs in airports worldwide, the way people interact with airports may become more seamless thanks to smart concepts like the partnership between Arrow and IBM.