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Boarding passes set to be extinct

New technology on show at Emara Tech’s stand at GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK could mean to the end of long queues at airport check-in counters.

Sissit Group’s SMS boarding passes can be read by universal airport scanners.
Sissit Group’s SMS boarding passes can be read by universal airport scanners.

New technology on show at Emara Tech’s stand at GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK could mean to the end of long queues at airport check-in counters.

Already active in parts of Australia, the world-first technology gives customers the option to have a boarding pass sent by SMS to their mobile phone when they purchase their ticket. Unlike e-ticketing systems currently in place that requires a barcode to be sent to a compatible phone via MMS, Sissit Group’s new technology, developed in Melbourne, allows tickets to be sent in plain SMS format to any mobile phone.

From here, the SMS is shown to a mobile ticketing reader – or a ‘universal scanner’ – at the airport, which then prints a boarding pass. Desktop versions of the machine also provide functionality for passengers to check-in their own luggage. The universal scanners can read SMS, barcodes, RFID and other biometric information. Built in wheels and wireless connectivity means they are also completely portable.

The convenience of the system is obvious, but Sissit Group Director Heinz Corona says costs savings for airlines are huge. “Printing paper is expensive but even when you look at sending passengers an MMS boarding pass using barcode technology, that adds up when you consider how many customer pass through airports every day ,” he says.

“We call it true mobile ticketing, there are no restrictions because the universal scanners read the textual patterns presented in a plain SMS,” explains Corona.

Australian airline Jetstar are working towards using the system for 100% of check-ins, and estimate a 15% jump in efficiency.

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