Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baggage handling -- how event processing can help people like me

Hello from Vienna, Austrtia. The baggage carousel was (almost) the first thing I have seen in Vienna airport, those who know me realize that this is one the places I most dislike, trying hard not to check luggage, which usually work (I am travelling with slight overweight on my carry-on luggage, but most airlines allow it), but I came across a strict (manual) agent in the Swiss ticket counter in Miami, and thus, had to deposit (in Hebrew there is a one letter difference between the word meaning "deposit" and the word meaning "abandon", so I always use the second word to describe hadning out luggage to an airline. I don't trust airlines to get my luggage in time - over the years, my luggage did not get on time three times, which may not be considered a lot, considered my travel quantity, but believe me, any such time is a big hussle. Moreover, I have read a statistics that 1.5% of the luggages don't get on time. Anyway, today there was an happy end -- after 10 minutes of wait I got my luggage and hurried out of there. Since this blog is about event processing and not about my personal eccentricities, I am thinking how event processing can help airlines to restore the confidence in the buggage handling systems and make neurotic passengers like me more relaxed -- well: it seems that all types of event processing can play here:

  • Trace and track system with notification can be used to have the passenger ask questions (or get notifications) that notify that the luggage is on the right aircraft, and when standing near the carousel, provide an estimate when it is coming (with some RFID readers all over).

  • BAM system that determines if something is going wrong --- the luggage did not arrive to some place, or arrived to the wrong place.

  • Automatic decision system which re-routes the luggage, if the passenger was reassigned.

  • Anything else ?

I will personally will be willing to pay for a service that notifies me the status of my checked luggage, espcially when standing near this carousale... this is not very difficult to construct...

Another small matter is the "ultra personalization", after arriving to Austria, not only people are talking to me in German, but also computerized system, I had to purchase Internet time in my hotel - T-Mobile has German only text, and after series of guesses, and some trial and error, I have succeeded to log it. This blogger system also talks German to me now -- in fact this is not personalization, this is location-based classification with wrong assumptions.... which brings to an interesting discussion about the term "context", which I view to be one of the major abstractions useful also in event processing -- more about it later.

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