The Internet of Things (IoT) is around us right now. It’s defined as the interconnection of all devices to the internet and to each other. Smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and smart air conditioning are all part of the internetworking. What could this have to do with aviation? Aircraft dispatchers know that the aviation industry is always updating.
The Internet of Things will change the way that aircraft dispatchers, engineers, and even passengers interact with the aircraft.
Here are five examples of the Internet of Things as they relate to aviation:
- Wi-Fi on airplanes is the most basic step towards a “smart” plane. Wi-Fi on planes is now more common than ever, and in most cases, it’s free. Aircraft dispatchers remember when electronic devices had to be shut off incase of the risk that they would interfere with communication between the aircraft dispatcher and the captain. Gone are the days where captains had to ask that all electronic devices be shut off.
- Flight status updates. Though the ability to track flight status through text message is no longer a new concept, it is forever changing and getting far more advanced. Airports are becoming location-based service providers based on the Wi-Fi setting of passengers. Passenger flow and behavior is being studied at London City Airport, Miami International, and Helsinki Airport right now.
- Improved aircraft maintenance and overall safety. The way airlines conduct their daily business is beginning to change behind the scenes. Everyone from aircraft dispatchers to aircraft engineers will be relaying on an interconnected communication between departments and the aircraft themselves.
- Virtual reality is coming in hot. Recently, Qantas began working with Sony to introduce VR headsets as part of the entertainment package on their aircraft.
- Smart planes will diagnose themselves. Software companies, like Microsoft, are creating hardware and software that will allow planes to diagnose themselves already. A connection between aircraft dispatchers and the planes themselves will mean more efficient flight plans and repairs.