Augmented Reality can be Simple too


Every week I am at Schiphol airport for my train connection between Brussels and Amsterdam. I also use the airport frequently for my flights as well. Like today. I was checking the RSS feed for my flight in case any delays would pop up, and I discovered a range of new information features.
For example, given your flight and your zipcode, it calculates your public transport literary from your bed at home to the check-in. It also includes an interactive map that shows you the train station exit, where to check in or drop your luggage, and many other features like the location of restaurants, shops and lounges.
Architectural design of buildings has to find the right balance to accessibility and functionality on one hand, and aesthetics on the other hand. Especially in airports, thousands of people have to pass through every day as efficient as possible, and the experience should be as comfortable as possible for the time they are there. Schiphol is an excellent example of this.
Today “architecture” is not limited to brick walls anymore. The airport building and its services itself should not only be functional, accessible, and elegant. It should also be immersed by virtual services that provide real-time information customized to your personal needs. The example I gave is a simple mash-up with Dutch Rail’s database, but already creates a highly valuable service that augments the experience for the passenger. But if it is so easy, why is it so difficult for airports to feature this ? Why are many airport websites still in their Web 1.0 infancy ?

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