Excerpt from the Hamilton Spectator on Texting and Flying
OTTAWA — Texting and driving is now a no-no. But texting and flying? That’s an idea that’s taking off. In a move that puts Canada at the forefront of aviation technology, air traffic controllers are using texts rather than radio to relay instructions to many of the aircraft flying high across the country.
The days of the Hollywood stereotype of a controller hunched over a radar scope, barking rapid-fire instructions to a string of aircraft appear numbered, replaced instead by the quiet click of a mouse. Today, controllers are assigning pilots changes in altitudes, headings, speed and routings via text. And in return, pilots can text their own requests to controllers for changes to their flight. It adds up to some 2,500 text messages a day — and climbing.
“This type of communication, this type of automation is certainly recognized within the industry as the way of the future,” said Rob Thurgur, assistant vice-president of operational support with Nav Canada, the agency that operates the country’s air traffic control system.
Known as “controller pilot data link communications,” the technology allows controllers working in area control centres to communicate via text with aircraft equipped to receive the messages, typically most commercial jets.
The text-based system uses a standard set of messages for the most routine communications. Once sent, the message appears on a cockpit display, where the pilots can read it and reply to acknowledge receipt.
Thurgur said text messages boost efficiency and safety by eliminating congestion on the radio frequencies and minimizing miscommunications that occur because of language barriers and bad reception.
“These issues around people transposing numbers, readbacks being incorrect and not being caught — you just don’t get those types of mistakes when the automation starts talking to each other,” he said in an interview.
While English is the official language of commercial aviation, vital instructions can get lost in translation in voice communications, a problem the new technology helps avoid.
“When you are talking to foreign pilots, you don’t have the language barrier because it’s all in text and it’s in a standard format that everybody understands,” Thurgur said.
Read the Full Article on Texting and Flying Here
The next logical step in mobile marketing for businesses is to allow customer interaction through smartphones. Mobile text marketing
is a way for businesses and organizations to broadcast text messages from a desktop computer unit. The business would send out a message and the customer will be invited to reply. Once that customer has opted into the program by responding to the text message, the company would be able to send additional promotional text messages at intervals to the customers on its text message list.
One way that I can see this type of mobile marketing working well for business owners is if customers respond to the initial message and receive a mobile coupon in return. This is a great strategy to encourage loyalty to a specific brand, and the business can use the mobile texts to keep in touch with customers and inform about specials, new products and the like.
For companies located near the Canadian border, this type of technology can be directed at consumers in the U.S. and Canada. I can see this would working well, since the business sending out the text messages would not have to duplicate its advertising campaigns to appeal to customers in each country separately. When a business can use one method and reach a larger pool of potential buyers, this is a winning strategy in my opinion and mobile text marketing is a great example.
Your Phone is Your Wallet
If you have ever struggled to find the right rewards card in your wallet like I have, you will welcome the news that a digital wallet will allow you to store all of this type of information in one convenient place. Anything that will make it more convenient for me to get a transaction completed when visiting a retailer is a good thing as far as I am concerned.
Canada Loves Digital Wallet Technology
It appears that Canadians are ready and willing to embrace this type of mobile technology. A survey conducted by Leger Marketing for PayPal Canada found that 56 percent of Canadians said that they are very comfortable with the idea of making cash-free purchases. A full 36 percent of Canucks stated that they would be willing to use a mobile device to make a variety of purchases, from something as small as a daily cup of coffee to larger items, like electronics.
What does this mean for mobile marketers? The increasing popularity of mobile devices opens up multiple opportunities to interact with consumers by placing targeted ads and offering special promotions to customers through mobile devices.
If modern consumers are already embracing the idea of going shopping with their devices, it simply makes good sense for marketers to tap into mobile shopping as a way to increase revenue. Over time, they will continue to reach out to customers in this manner.