Yesterday I was traveling through Newark to Princeton, New Jersey and I checked into my flight with my Blackberry.
That's right - I handed my Blackberry to the TSA and they let me pass.
I handed my Blackberry to the Gate folks and they let me enter the plane.
How is the possible? A little known option on the Continental Website called "PDA check in" that is completely paperless and is my cool technology of the week.
When you check in, Continental offers the option to send a 2D bar code to your smartphone/email device via a pre-registered email address (photo above). The bar code is invalid if printed. At airports with Continental gates, there is a special bar code reader at security that reads your PDA directly and validates the 2D bar code.
The gate uses the standard bar code reader that's used for all boarding passes.
Interestingly, I was the only one on the entire plane who used this feature.
I think folks are so paranoid about delays in security that they are reluctant to try new technologies at the airport.
Case in point - I wrote about Clear on April 11, 2008. In June of 2009, the company ceased operations.
However, I think the idea of using a PDA for boarding passes is simple, ecofriendly and works well. Whizzing through security with only my Blackberry - that's cool.
If only enterprise-scale health IT systems could leverage the technology to enable payment mechanisms and deliver up-to-date medication and problem lists to the point of care...
"Clear" may be resuming operations--the NY Times ran an article to that effect on Sept. 30: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/technology/30clear.html
Although I was just reading something the other day about Clear being purchased again and maybe coming back to life?
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