We met with a company named SITA during Mobile World Congress to see how NFC is going to change the way we travel. Sure, you can already use the technology to jump on a subway in some countries, but SITA wants to use a secure SIM-based solution to allow travelers to check-in to flights with their phones. You can already do this with QR codes, but SITA lab director Renaud Irminger told us that just 5 percent of travelers currently use the solution. Why?
There’s a fear that your phone’s battery will die or that there won’t be an internet connection available in the airport to bring up your boarding pass. This is especially a worry for international travel. But with SITA’s solution, you can board a plane and use secure information even if your phone is dead. The NFC terminal in the airport provides the power to your phone’s NFC chip, identifies you and will process all of the required information. If your phone is on, it will even display the gate information and more.
We had a chance to speak with Renaud Irminger and get a full video demo of how the solution works, both with a powered phone and one with a dead battery.