Airports To Introduce iPads For Traveler Use
iPads may become the new pre-flight entertainment. The Apple devices, clad with surprisingly new functionality features, will soon be free to use in select airports. NY1’s technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Whether a person is an iPad owner or not there's an increasing chance they’ll start using one next time they’re at an airport.
OTG Management, which runs many restaurants and newsstands at major airports, has announced that after a year-and-a-half pilot project at LaGuardia, it's now going ahead with full rollout plans for 7,000 iPads at four North American airports: LaGuardia, JFK, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Pearson airport in Toronto. The iPads will be scattered throughout restaurants and gates, free for anyone to use.
“People are very anxious about where they're going, is their flight on time, where's their flight leaving from, did the gate change," says Albert Lee of OTG Management. "We're putting all the tools in front of them so that they can reduce their gate anxiety. So from the iPad, you can order anything that's available in the airport and have it delivered directly to your seat. You can have magazines delivered to you, you can have top-notch food delivered directly to your seat.”
OTG insists all orders will be delivered to you in 15 minutes or less. In addition to buying stuff, there are a handful of apps for checking your flight, surfing the web, reading up on news or playing a few games. Apps will be added as new deals are struck for them.
If you're concerned that after using one of these iPads, you might leave your email or Facebook password behind, developers insist that is not something you're going to have to worry about.
“All you have to do is hit the home button, run for your flight and we've got you covered. If you forget to hit the home button, in two minutes the screen saver will come on and wipe your information there,” says Lee.
Even though so many travelers these days have their own mobile devices, folks who spoke to NY1 while at the airport say they actually prefer to use these.
“This one is connected to the internet. I'm not able to get it on my other devices,” says one traveler.
OTG says it plans to complete its four-airport rollout within the next year and half, after which it'll look toward other airports.