In Summer 2014, in collaboration with Teague, my team at the University of Washington and I set out to explore ways to improve the airport travel experience. Initial research on the air travel industry, consumer offerings, and the current passenger experience revealed two important insights: 1) passengers feel tethered to their gates and are not in control of their own experience, and 2) gates are a source of critical information and services. We hypothesized that a combination of information and services that passengers typically rely on the gate for, personal location data, and a thoughtful approach to delivery would empower passengers to physically and mentally untether from the gate. Through a process of research, analysis, ideation, evaluation and iteration, we developed a concept called Skylark.
Skylark is a system that delivers contextual, personalized information to passengers as they move through the airport. It integrates data from various sources that passengers need, including flight updates, gate activity, indoor maps, directories, and individual location data. It then pushes vital notifications to ensure passengers make their flights on time, enables direct communication with gate agents, and provides information that helps people decide what to do with their time in the airport.