I’ve been reading for years about mobile phones being used as “tokens” that would act as concert tickets, bus passes and other uses. Nice airport is currently road-testing a system that would enable travellers to use their mobile phones as a boarding pass. After checking in (notably via the Internet), the traveller simply has to scan their phone in front of a reader at departure and do the same for the border controls. The system uses a Near Field Contact chip that means it works even when the phone’s batteries are dead (although it also means it is active everywhere you go). The system will reduce queues, save on costs (for airports) and enables travellers to be kept personally informed about departure times.
The system is being developed by Nice Côte d’Azur airport, Amadeus, Air France and IER using members of the Gold Club Airport Premier and Air France Flying Blue clubs in the experiment. The trial started in April 2009 and will run until September 2009. Nice airport services the French Riviera towns such as Nice, Cannes, Monaco and Antibes.