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Airport Innovation Labs’ Third Group Testing Unique Concepts

Six companies engaged in 16-week program

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

SAN DIEGO – October 9, 2019 – Airport-oriented solutions ranging from autonomous security robots to an augmented reality experience are being “field tested” at San Diego International Airport (SAN) in its unique Airport Innovation Lab. The third group of innovators welcomed into the Lab’s 16-week program is comprised of six companies with wildly varied concepts.

From now through December 13, these companies will beta test and refine their ideas in an operating airport setting. The unique Lab occupies part of the former Commuter Terminal building at SAN. The six companies and their concepts are:

  • Cloud Club (www.mycloudclub.org) – Purposeful daydreaming sessions to decrease stress and anxiety, and enhance overall well-being;
  • Lift Your Eyes (www.Liftyoureyes.co) – Virtual and augmented reality experience targeting pre-teens and teens with travel-oriented content;
  • Lorenzo Designs (www.designsbylorenzo.com) – Flexible, programmable, illuminated LED stanchion belts to direct traffic and improve way-finding;
  • Nüdel Kart (www.nudelkart.com) – Mobile, deconstructable play carts to engage children in playful learning in an airport;
  • NXT Robotics (www.nxtrobotics.com) – autonomous robots to support airport security monitoring that employ “cognitive software”; and
  • QBRIO Inc. (www.qbrio.me) – Turning automobiles (initially BMW I-3 model) into private lounge-like transport for the professional traveler.

“This may be our most exciting batch to date,” said Rick Belliotti, Director of Customer Experience & Innovation at SAN. “These are ground-breaking ideas that address and potentially improve the airport experience. The ones that succeed will create good feelings in the airport environment.”

Recruiting was focused on two opportunity areas. One was an Interactive Children’s Entertainment Solution, and the other was termed a “wild card.” The latter was more open to welcome ideas that may not previously have been thought of, but could result in viable solutions.

At the end of the program, successful innovators have the potential to win a contract from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the airport’s owner and operator, and/or gain entrée to other airports and analogous businesses including other transportation hubs, convention centers, shopping malls and other large venues such as ballparks, theme parks and hotels.

In late Fall 2019, the Lab will begin recruiting for its fourth group of innovators.

Successful applicants have an existing prototype that can be tested in an airport environment, and ideas that are new to U.S. airports or an extension of an existing service or product to be tested at SAN.

“We are building a team of problem-solvers who want to help us improve our already highly rated customer satisfaction,” said Kimberly J. Becker, Airport Authority President/CEO. “Those innovations that work at SAN will add to our ability to deliver good feelings nonstop.”

The unique Lab launched to reduce barriers for innovators to break into the aviation industry. The 3,500-square-foot space in the former Commuter Terminal offers a functional mini-terminal area with ticket counters and a bag claim carousel, all without passenger or security concerns to work around.

For more information and to apply, go to www.innovate.san.org.

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