MEXIA Interactive helps its customers unlock the hidden value in their locations, creating high-tech digital platforms to track the passenger journey through the terminal and improve user experience. Founder and CEO Glenn Tinley discusses how airports can harness real-time data to make travelling easier for everyone, from the check-in desk to the departure gate.

Glenn Tinley travels a lot, and has given significant thought to what his ideal airport experience might look like. "The ultimate result for me is to arrive at an airport and my boarding pass is already on my device," Tinely says.

"As I pull up to any airport, my device will know what city I am in, where I am going and what time my flight is. It will tell me the wait time at security and how long it will take me to walk to my gate – and then, if I stand in line longer than the airport wait-time target, I will be given a coupon for a free beverage after security."

In his capacity as founder and CEO of MEXIA Interactive, Glenn has made this a reality, having worked with airports across the world to develop integrated digital operations platforms. Tinley began this collaboration when clients came to him looking for new ways to maximise the potential of their locations.

"Non-aviation revenue needed to rise, because aviation-based revenue was falling," he says. "Profits from revenue sources like landing fees were dropping as the industry changed, so we started thinking about how Internet-of-Things technology could address the problem – and that’s how we ended up in the space we’re in now."

Connect more
With MEXIA’s technology, there’s real potential to make travellers’ lives better. It can reduce the anxiety passengers experience at airports while helping operators take full advantage of the opportunities offered by combining digital and physical space.

Central to MEXIA’s SMRT Sensor platform is the Internet of Things – the idea that devices and the people using them are able to connect with whatever environment they are in, turning physical locations into interactive, personalised digital spaces.
"Airports should be communicating with passengers in security," Tinely says, "letting them know that their gate is a five-minute walk away and they have 40 minutes before they need to be there, for example.

"More people have smartphones nowadays, and want to be connected with their surroundings. In order for all this to work with the range of devices people have, there needs to be an infrastructure for it to come together."

SMRTer than average
That infrastructure is realised in MEXIA’s SMRT Sensor platform, whose name represents the ‘see, measure, report, track’ concept behind its technology. It is the most comprehensive analytics and engagement platform currently available in the industry. The platform provides mobile and video analytics, engagement through beacons (including iOS/Android SDKs and a CMS for mobile apps) and 802.11AC Wi-Fi services.

"With our SMRT Sensor platform, we monitor the air for mobile signals with 2.5m accuracy and measure queue waiting times in real time through video analytics," explains Tinley. "Then, with an accurate understanding of passenger behaviours, we can offer engagement through an existing app or can provide a base app to build on. Simply put, we provide the platform for airports to access the Internet of Things."

Combined, all of these factors help to inform and assist passengers through flight information display systems or a mobile app, and reduces traveller anxiety to create a better customer experience. On the crucial indirect results of implementing the platform, Tinley adds: "A less anxious traveller will be inclined to spend more money, thereby achieving our overarching goal of helping our airport clients find new revenues.

"Granular analytics and personalised engagement are real, and passengers are demanding them, but it can’t simply be accomplished by trying to make something like existing Wi-Fi access points provide this level of information.

"Wi-Fi access points are set up to provide internet access at their core; they are not engineered to provide high degrees of accuracy for analytics such as segmenting departments in your duty-free retail," concludes Tinley. "Our SMRT Sensors are essentially indoor satellites on multiple fronts, and we can provide you with that and much more."