Following the recent launch by Vueling of the first smartwatch-based boarding pass, Iberia and airberlin have announced the development of their own wearable boarding passes.
Spanish carrier Iberia has teamed up with Samsung to offer the mobile version of its website, including boarding passes, on the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, while users of airberlin’s iPhone app can send their digital boarding pass to their Pebble or Pebble Steel smartwatch.
Referring to the airberlin product, the carrier’s Senior Vice President Marketing, André Rahn, said: “airberlin is the world’s first airline to offer iPhone users the possibility of boarding using a barcode downloaded to their smartwatch. The watch also displays a quick overview of the flight guest’s departure time, gate number and seat. This option makes opening the boarding pass on the iPhone or even searching for the paper pass in your purse a thing of the past. It’s just another step airberlin is taking to simplify the boarding process through technical innovation.”
Iberia, meanwhile, is working on an updated version of its app for Android devices which will allow boarding passes to be automatically downloaded to passengers’ Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches when they check-in using their smartphone.
Miguel Angel Henales, Head of Iberia’s Digital Business, commented: “Working on this app has been a challenge, because we are producing prototypes, creating something that is new to the market. We are one of the first airlines to offer a wearable boarding pass, which we think will be very popular among our passengers.”
The collaboration between Iberia and Samsung on the wearable boarding pass follows the recent announcement that the two parties have been working closely to use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to simplify the airport experience for passengers.
Virgin Atlantic this year became the first airline to trial wearable technology – specifically Google Glass and Sony Smartwatches – in a live airport environment, equipping concierge staff with the devices in the Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow Airport.