Tuesday, 26th May 2020

AR navigation helps airport's digital upgrade

NetDragon Websoft Holdings, together with Fuzhou Airport, which is also known as "The Hub Airport of Gateway of the Maritime Silk Road", has launched the jointly-developed AR Navigation Project. As the first airport AR navigation app in mainland China, this app has been integrated with NetDragon's capabilities and advantages in AR, smart location intelligence and big data technology. Mr. Zheng Hui, Executive Director of NetDragon, Mr. Chen Xiang, Senior Vice President of NetDragon, Mr. Kenny Chien, Vice President of Cherrypicks, a subsidiary of NetDragon, Mr. Liu Yuhai, General Manager and Mr. Chen Zhonghui, Deputy General Manager of Fuzhou International Airport Co., Ltd. attended the launching ceremony.

The AR navigation app, developed by NetDragon for Fuzhou Airport, comprises features including intelligent management, personalized services, gamification experience and close-range marketing. The app's smart location intelligence enables precise indoor positioning. Via AR technology, the app navigates passengers with indoor airport navigation service in the form of 3D real-image map, which is intuitive and convenient. Finally, with big data technology, Fuzhou Airport conducts passengers' behavior analysis in order to improve the airport's operation efficiency.

As introduced by Chen Xiang, Senior Vice President of NetDragon, the AR navigation app is based on NetDragon's advanced AR technology and Cherrypicks' Starbeacon. The app does not only provide location navigation service, but also entertainment functions such as AR camera, and in future, it will also provide personalized push functions, such as instant AR translation, AR social interaction, AR gaming and close-range marketing, which will bring greater convenience and enjoyment to travelers.

Starbeacon is infrastructure relying on Cherrypicks' proprietary iBeacon technology. iBeacon is a location navigation solution widely adopted in international airports, traffic systems, retail stores, corporates and event venues around the world. By utilizing Starbeacon's cloud-based back-end system, operators of nearby venues can manage and update their shop catalogs at ease, and send targeted, tactical push messages to tourists, in order to attract traffic and encourage consumption. Meanwhile, shop operators can also employ big data analytics to analyze tourists' consumption patterns in order to improve their marketing strategies, such as making limited-time offers and setting check-in functions at landmarks. On the other hand, Cherrypicks has invented the leading instant AR translation function for airport signages by deploying its advanced image recognition and AR engines such that travelers can translate airport signages into their designated language through photos or videos taken by AR cameras.

This is not Starbeacon's first ever airport deployment case. Back in 2016, Starbeacon's smart location intelligence infrastructure stood out among many international bidders and has been adopted by Hong Kong International Airport to provide indoor navigation services to over 60 million travelers per year. Supported by innovative and commercially valuable technologies, Hong Kong International Airport is the first airport in the world to apply Starbeacon's solution to provide a world-class user experience.

In 2018, Fuzhou Airport recorded 14.39 million passenger throughputs. Mr. Liu Yuhai, General Manager of Fuzhou International Airport Co., Ltd. commented that the airport carried out multi-dimensional exploration in eight aspects, including technology application, functional planning, environmental design, services and products, commercial development, theme display, environmental protection and safety culture. Smart airport construction projects, including AR navigation, paperless customs clearance, self-service baggage check and facial recognition security checks have been rolled out one after another to enhance the overall passenger service experience.

Mr. Zheng Hui, Executive Director of NetDragon, said that the Company is much honored to participate in the intelligent construction of Fuzhou Airport. Both parties are committed to making this project a model showcase of applied digital technology at airports. NetDragon's AR technology can also be applied in other large-scale indoor venues and is highly scalable with great market potential in China and around the world. NetDragon also hopes that the project will be replicated in airports across different cities in future.

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