"Robotic retailers", "travelling by virtual reality" and
"pilotless planes" are just some of the ideas University of
Canterbury students had for how digital disruption and emerging
technologies will impact the future of travel.
The airport's Digital Innovation Zone has just hosted the Future
of Digital Travel Challenge, in collaboration with the University of
Canterbury Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE)
Teams of students, mentored by Christchurch Airport staff, were
asked to delve 15 years into the future and spend 48 hours coming
up with solutions to futuristic airport challenges.
The challenges got students thinking about the opportunities and
threats of changes to the way people travel and online retailing
for Christchurch Airport. They were also asked to consider the role
insightful data could play in solving these challenges.
During the challenge speakers, mentors and experts also helped
guide students to develop a range of skills including teamwork,
critical analysis, quick thinking and presentations.
Christchurch Airport's Manager Digital Solutions and Data
Technology, Art Martinson, says the challenge replicated work
already underway within the airport.
"Innovation excites us, so we've been investigating how digital
and emerging technologies can help us improve customer experience
and build a stronger safer business. Hosting this challenge helped
widen the pool of talent we have looking at these issues, he
Teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges. Michael
Singleton, General Manager of Corporate Affairs, said "It's been a
fantastic experience for us and we really enjoyed it. It's not easy
to do this in two days and the teams did a particularly good job of
putting the customer at the centre".
Bryce Cunningham, from Team Insight, said "We learnt a lot and
were able to talk to a range of mentors with real industry
experience to develop our ideas.
Art Martinson says the students' ideas were impressive.
"Their thinking was insightful and they've given us a lot to
think about. Who knows maybe we will see some of these ideas come
to life at the airport soon?"
First Place - Team ABI
- An AI platform implemented on blockchain, controlled by the
airport, which provides individualised needs based marketing. ABI
is an efficient and secure way for the airport and its partners to
enhance the customer experience and better connect customers with
retailers throughout their journey.
Second Place - Team Insight
- Team Insight believe wearable AR devices will be the future and
all customers will be using them to interact with the airport. By
creating a 'Hyper-personalised Virtual Shopfront' with a selection
of products selected specifically fort he individual, the airport
will be able to drive increased sales for retailers and an enhanced
experience for customers.
Third Place - Team Air Force One
- Team Air Force One argued that robots are the key to enhancing
customer experience and improving retail spend at the airport.
SecuroTron provides a streamlined and efficient security service
for frequent flyers and ShopBot targets customers waiting for
flights with retail and hospitality offerings tailored to their