Tablets tablets everywhere but where’s the personal touch?

ipads at laguardiaLa Guardia airport’s Delta terminal is immersed in iPads. Practically everywhere you look, ten inch iPads are plated on counters and tables at every gate and corridor. Its an interesting experience. There’s no login or sign up. They just simply give you options to access certain functions like restricted web surfing, flight information or the ability to order food from any of the restaurants or vendors in the terminal.

I tried getting a bottle of Fiji water delivered as an experiment. It was pretty easy and fun. I just tapped on the item I wanted, noted whether I’d eat it there or get it to go (not really applicable to bottled water) and then paid via credit card on the swipe machine that is integrated into the table as separate from the

After placing my order for water, I waited a mere sixty seconds before someone walked up and asked me if I had indeed ordered the water. It was cool as I was no where near the water vendor.

The primary question that comes to mind in thinking about this experience is what all the options were and why Delta selected the presence and permanency of installed tablets. The key aspect that I’ve considered is presence. They could have chosen an app or a website, but those both require the user to have deeper levels of commitment to initiate the experience in the first place. And, as with most high-tech experiences, adoption and customer usage is paramount to everything else. Often, in reality the adage, “if you build it, they will come” falls short of the mark.  So the presence and encouragement of the mounted screens seems to be an amazing

But most notably, in the current iteration, no personalization exists. I couldn’t even sign in to my Delta SkyMiles account so that they’d know I was a loyal flyer and treat me accordingly. I can only imagine (and hope) that that will be the next logical phase.

Clearly if you have a captive audience and you can use their time effectively to create a personalized experience, that could be a great thing. In terms of omnichannel, making the experience universally accessible regardless of whether I have any or a certain type of device levels the playing field and creates a consistent and universal brand experience for Delta.

My overall opinion is: well done Delta! We look forward to seeing where they take this next and can only home to see interactive and personalized tablet experiences in terminals and on planes in the not so distant future.


One thought on “Tablets tablets everywhere but where’s the personal touch?

  1. It depends enretily on what you plan to use the phone for. If you want a totally open application development platform or wanna stray away from all the iOS users while still having a relatively large app variety, go for the Galaxy S3 with Android. If you want ease of use and a wider variety of apps to try, along with the ability to use your existing iTunes account, go for the iPhone 5. If you want a phone that’s just different from other phones or a phone that’s a little more business and communication oriented, go for the Windows Phone 8 phone. The choice depends enretily on what you want to do with the phone.Because of my great experience with AndroidOS, I’d personally lean most toward the Galaxy S3. But the iOS and the Windows Phone 8 phones are still great choice.Again, the choice of your next phone depends on what you wanna do.

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