US:- LocusLabs, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced a real-time wayfinding and communication initiative that will help enhance the traveler experience during the international customs and security process. Through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, DHS S&T is investing in LocusLabs’ development of guidance software and valuable analytics technology for potential U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) applications.
Since 2015, LocusLabs has been digitally enabling smart buildings by providing global venues, enterprises, and brands a location platform to share, manage, and communicate information about their physical space. They have a unique toolset for location-based content management that allows airports to place virtual objects and indicators throughout their physical space, visible to passengers via mobile applications.
Due to their expansive airline and airport ecosystem which includes partnerships with American, United, Delta and Lufthansa, the company is an ideal partner for DHS S&T. Leveraging the LocusMaps indoor navigation platform already present in dozens of travel apps worldwide, international travelers could have access to a number of new capabilities:
- Detailed Wait Times: As they go through CBP and TSA checkpoints, they will experience a more enhanced navigation, allowing them to better understand exactly how much time it will take them to get through the customs and security process so they can better plan their journey through the airport.
- New Accessible routing: The app will now accommodate routes that are accessible for wheelchairs and persons with limited mobility.
- Push Notifications: CBP and TSA will have the ability to push messages directly to passenger smartphones as needed to communicate vital, contextual information, as it happens.
These new features will better serve the segment of international passengers with disabilities as well as provide the broader audience of passengers with more critical information to improve their day-of travel.
“Our ecosystem houses massive amounts of behavioral data in airports, which can provide valuable insights to DHS S&T,” said Campbell Kennedy, CEO of LocusLabs. “With our many global partnerships with the largest airlines and travel apps in the world, we’re confident we can enable dramatic improvements in airport operations, analyzing bottlenecks and other obstructions to help optimize passenger flow.”
Privacy and security are top-of-mind during this development. LocusLabs collects only anonymous data from passengers and users must proactively opt-in to the program. “Our philosophy is that if passengers choose to provide anonymous data, the app should always give them something of great value in return,” states Kennedy. In this case, LocusMaps will provide security checkpoint, wait times, and critical operational notifications to international travelers.
To further develop their technology for government application, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has granted LocusLabs $199,100 for one phase of development, of a possible four phases.