Tech Bytes

The Wayfinder mapping application from NCR is designed to ensure that passengers never lose their way at larger airports. The technology is a self-service and easy-to-use solution for finding the most direct route to any particular destination within an airport, be it a boarding gate, a restaurant, or a restroom.

NCR’s Wayfinder is currently being utilized in the heathcare setting but is in the process of being tailored for use in airports Wayfinder will be located at kiosks, some of which will contain printers that allow the user to print a map which highlights the user’s directed route.

Wayfinder is a Web-based application which allows organizations to create, maintain, and publish maps easily, and can be used to publish video and text messages, such as announcements for promotions and upcoming events.

Denver’s wi-fi success
FreeFi Networks provides advertiser-supported Internet access at Denver International Airport (DIA) for free, minus a moment of the user’s time. FreeFi has provided the service to many host venues including hotels, convention facilities, and chain restaurants, offering businesses another opportunity to generate new revenue. DIA is now the world’s largest free Wi-Fi airport.

FreeFi’s ad model allows marketers to direct messages to large numbers of Wi-Fi users unobtrusively with what the company calls “casual-use connect time.” Users may access the Internet in 50-minute increments by logging in and viewing one 30-second commercial before receiving uninterupted high-speed Internet access. During the session, ads are also displayed on a banner at the top of the browser screen.

According to the company, DIA was able to eliminate a $7.95 daily charge for Internet access and increase usage to more than 3,500 daily connections. The previous paid Wi-Fi service averaged only 600 daily connections. The month of July alone averaged more than 6,300 connections per day and the airport connection rate peaked to almost 7,000 during the Democratic National Convention last August.

In addition to Internet access, FreeFi has partnered with Disney ABC Domestic Television to provide on-demand video rentals as they become available from The Walt Disney Studios. DVD-quality videos can be downloaded directly to the user’s laptop within minutes.

“Travelers have come to expect Wi-Fi access in places like airports and hotels,” explains Lawrence Laffer, director of sales and marketing for the company. “Clearly, free access is preferred by the traveling public.”

FreeFi Networks plans to expand service to airports across the country.

Cost-saving LED
The new LED Runway Guard Light from Siemens Airfield Solutions(SAS) eliminates re-lamping expenses and reduces maintenance costs by using a smaller isolation transformer which reduces the load on the constant current regulator(CCR).

The LED can be current- or voltage-driven, providing airports increased flexibility. The crisp on/off appearance of the flashing light is designed to greatly increase pilot situational awareness. The LED light is set to mimic the on/off curve of an incandescent lamp, but can be adjusted in the field for increased visibility.

NEC’s bigger screen
NEC Display Solutions of America introduces it’s largest LCD to date, the new 82” NEC MultiSync LCD8205. The professional-grade 82” LCD panel provides a tool for delivering high-quality digital signage for companies and organizations to showcase brand messages in a large eye-catching format.

The LCD-8205 can be installed in either portrait or landscape orientation, and tiled together for a video wall — up to four displays high and four displays wide — creating a video canvas of 328 diagonal inches of viewing area. Key features include full high-definition resolution, five picture modes, and thermal protection.

Vacuum lifting
Glidepath, an engineering company specializing in airport security baggage handling systems, in partnership with Vaculux, continues to distribute the Vaculux TP Vacuum Tube for assisted lifting of airline baggage. The Vaculux lift system improves worker productivity by minimizing injuries related to manual lifting.

The Vaculux baggage lifting system is in operation in Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City and Glidepath is currently installing multiple units in Indianapolis International Airport, Dallas Love Field Airport, and Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

JAA’s new web feature
A discussion forum for Craig Airport, located on the Craig Airport link of, has been added to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority’s (JAA) website to encourage the open exchange of information and ideas. Although the forum has been launched on the Craig Airport web page, the JAA plans to place discussion forums on all four of the authority’s airports’ web pages.

“In addition to the public meetings, technical meetings, and other community meetings we facilitate or attend to keep people informed about the activities at Craig Airport, this forum adds another dimension to the communication arena,” said Michael Stewart, director of external affairs at JAA.

“The discussion forum provides another avenue for us to be regularly engaged with the community as we build and maintain Jacksonville’s aviation infrastructure.”

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Compiled by assistant editor Brad McAllister; reach him at