OTG to Equip Major Airports With Thousands of iPads for Free Use
Soon major North American airports will have select terminals decked out with about 2,500 iPads available free for anyone to use, reports GigaOm. The first three airports to be equipped will be New York's LaGuardia, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, and Toronto Pearson International.
The idea is for the iPads to become sort of a concierge service that's integrated with OTG's restaurants: From gate areas or near their restaurants, anyone can pick up an iPad and track the status of their flight, check to see if it's delayed or if the gate has been moved. This flight-tracking app will let you know how much time you have before boarding. If it's 30 minutes or more, it will suggest you find a restaurant to chill out in, if there's less time than that, it will suggest you grab something to go. Or if you've forgotten something you need on the flight, say a neck pillow, you can order one through a pre-installed app on the iPad and the item will be delivered to you in the gate from one of the company's airport shops. The iPad tables will also double as charging stations, so anyone can recharge their phone or computer while using the iPad pre-flight.
OTG hopes the iPads will make passengers "feel calm and connected". They have been testing the model at a few gates in JFK and LaGuardia using the code name "Operation Zanax".
CEO Rick Blatstein says in time he expects the company to buy between 25,000 to 100,000 iPads as the effort expands to more airports.