Monday, December 20, 2010

The Barcode Discovery Tour

Today's post is inspired by Rob C. (BENG!NL) who is currently stuck in Charles de Gaulle airport after trying desperately to make it out to NYC this week. His journey started in Amsterdam, where his flight to London was canceled due to the snowy conditions currently plaguing Europe. He then took an 8 hour taxi ride to Brussels to get on a flight leaving the following day. With that flight being canceled 1 hour before take off, the final chance of getting out to NYC was through Paris airport. Six hours later, a sleep in Novotel Charles de Gaulle left Rob tired and supremely disappointed when hearing that the chances of getting out were slim to none. Had he made it to Gatwick, he could have at least checked out their construction. Hoping all is well with Rob and your safe trip back to Amsterdam. NYC will be here waiting for you!

On to today's post...

Gatwick Airport has unveiled their Barcode Discovery Tour to help bring their £1 Billion investment to life. The airport is the first in the world to use standard barcodes as an audio visual tool, and the first UK brand to work with stickybits, the free mobile application used to scan the codes. The barcoded stickers have been placed on scaffolding and hoardings at Gatwick and once scanned by a passenger, show a short video and some photographs detailing the changes taking place at the airport. Essentially turning every hoarding into a piece of digitally interactive information.  The locations and content will be refreshed to keep the information up to date.  The Discovery Tour will also be linked to location based social media networks such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook places.

 Samantha Holgate, Gatwick’s Head of Airport Communications said:

“The airport is going through a major programme of improvement designed to benefit the passengers but most of this work is hidden behind standard construction hoarding. We wanted to find a fun and interactive way to communicate to passengers about how the money is being invested, what work is going on behind the hoarding and how they will eventually benefit. Many of our passengers are social media savvy so introducing stickybits is a great way to interact with them.”

The tour forms part of an overall effort by Gatwick to use social media as a means to obtain up to date feedback from passengers. Operations and customer services staff will be undergoing training in the use of Twitter with the aim of making it a 24 hour customer services tool. Gatwick plans to unveil other ways they will be interacting with passengers stay posted!

[Discovery Tour created by The Rabbit Agency in London]