One of the best innovations of BlackBerry 7 phones is the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) to the hardware of the phone design. RIM is making inroads in partnering with carriers and corporations to provide NFC customer support.
RIM's latest venture with Orange and SITA brings NFC testing to BlackBerry users at Toulouse-Blagnac airport in France. 50 frequent flyers with NFC enabled BlackBerry devices will be able to use their phones from parking to departure, all the while receiving real-time information about their pending flight which will be a boon to the business traveler.
Remarkable things keep coming out from RIM every day.
France - Toulouse-Blagnac airport has worked in collaboration with Research In Motion, Orange and SITA to reach new heights in innovative customer service. The airport is launching a Near Field Communication (NFC) trial that enables passengers to pass seamlessly through the airport using just their mobile phones. In a worldwide first for an airport, using a SIM card-based safety protocol, 50 frequent flyers will take part in a trial at Toulouse airport this summer, to test the new service on their BlackBerry® smartphones.
NFC technology allows easy access to a wide range of useful services. Using a wireless short-range connection a simple tap of the mobile device can validate a flight ticket, pay for goods or receive information about, for example, departure gates, flight changes and other relevant information.
Arriving at T-B airport, the passenger's mobile phone will now act as their security pass for a dedicated, priority path through the airport. Passengers on the trial will be able to access the P1 car park using their smartphone, which will hold details on the parking lot in the memory. Then, without delay, they will be granted access to Departures via the Premium Access Zone. Thereafter, they’ll be able to enjoy the comforts of the "La Croix du Sud" private lounge without needing to
Present additional credentials. En route through the airport, passengers on the trial will receive real-time information related to their flight (schedule, departure hall, boarding gate, etc.).
Using NFC technology offers many advantages: it is extremely secure; it works even when the mobile is powered off; it does not require any specific application to be loaded on to it; it is not affected by reading problems due to a scratched or dirty screen surface. Passengers using NFC can now be handled more promptly and efficiently than with any of the current boarding processes available.
"With NFC technology, the mobile phone simplifies the passenger’s journey through the airport, says Jean-Michel Vernhes, CEO of Toulouse-Blagnac airport. It now becomes a personalized tool displaying the right information at the right time. It also enables passengers to better manage their journey, so they can choose how they spend their time at the airport. For T-B airport, the approach is to give to flyers access to leading-edge technologies that enhance and facilitate their experience at the airport in providing new Premium services."
Through this partnership with Research In Motion, Orange and SITA, Toulouse-Blagnac airport looks towards the future, implementing functionalities that will be displayed in the new smartphone application planned for 2013-2014.