Smart processes at airports

27.04.2021 A smart disinfectant dispenser for airports was the initial idea of the start-up Handprint. Handprint received support with the development and manufacture of the prototype from the Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems I3S at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH. The prototype is now being taken to a further stage of development to enable passenger flows at airports to be controlled more efficiently in future.

The hygiene challenges in the aviation industry presented by the coronavirus pandemic inspired Dominique Henri from the start-up Handprint to develop an all-in-one hygiene device. As well as dispensing hand disinfectant, the Smart Sanitizer will also provide passengers at the airport with additional information.

Henri turned to the Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems I3S at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH for support with development of the prototype. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr Axel Fuerst, Research Group Leader at I3S, a prototype of the Smart Sanitizer was designed and manufactured within three months. As well as dispensing hand disinfectant, the smart device uses ultrasonic sensors to detect people in its proximity and then greets them. By scanning tickets, the prototype can also provide travellers with flight information, such as directions to the gate or current waiting times. When the device is not being used, it plays adverts and can be used as an additional digital media space for airport operators.

Handprint’s original concept has now been taken a stage further: Smart Sanitizer has been turned into SmartAir. Handprint hopes SmartAir will further increase operational efficiency at airports and improve passenger flows to minimise congestion. Interactive info-point devices controlled by artificial intelligence aim to ensure delays are avoided and waiting times cut. A SmartAir cloud-based solution will also enable airport operators to streamline their processes – from online ticket purchasing to the reservation of time slots for the security check. Bern University of Applied Sciences could also contribute expertise to the development of SmartAir in the fields of high-tech software development, data analysis and IoT. A future collaboration between Handprint and the Institute for Data Applications and Security IDAS is currently being discussed.

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