JFK looks to cut down passenger queues by tracking mobile devices

JFK looks to cut down passenger queues by tracking mobile devices

NEW YORK CITY — JFK, New York’s busiest airport, is looking into a different method to cut down passenger queues – by crowd sourcing passenger mobile signals.

Terminal Four has installed technology by Denmark-based Blip Systems to track passenger movements around various congested hotspots, Tnooz reports. Sensors interspersed throughout the terminal at strategic points detect Bluetooth and wifi-enabled devices, including mobile phones and tablets to collect data such as movement, dwell periods and flow between points.

Blip says, “When a device passes the sensors, its non personal unique ID – called a MAC address – is recorded, encrypted and time-stamped. By re-identifying the device from multiple sensors, the travel times, dwell times and movement patterns become available.”

Blip’s technology will trigger a notification of congestion in high traffic spots such as border protection points, immigration, taxi queues and baggage claims, which can allow officials to open up more lanes or direct passengers elsewhere. Notably, it will also flash wait times on screens around the airport, so passengers can alter their plans while navigating through the airport and terminal.