Surfing on Wheels: Airport Buses Go Hi-tech

The long ride from Bangalore’s international airport in Devanahalli to the city has taken a turn for the better.

Interactive Bill Board (IBB) has affixed Android-based tablets on the back of headrests of seats on 25 of BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) Volvo buses plying from the airport. The Tegra2 Magic Tile Apollo tablet developed by Bangalore based EAFT (Everything at FingerTips) Technologies is a 7-inch resistance touch screen device, which offers real-time information, communication and entertainment to commuters.

The tablet is equipped with an Internet browser, which can be accessed after providing the user’s contact details, just like in a regular cyber café. It also offers Youtube, Facebook, weather, stock market, news, horoscope, and BMTC ticket portal apps for free. Music and high-resolution videos have been pre-loaded into the system. IBB is also in talks with for a new entertainment app. Other plans include Bingo games, that will be played across BMTC buses equipped with the tablets. An added technological advantage of this service is, it’s expected switch to 3G networks, enabling faster Internet on the go.

The ‘Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) on Wheels’ concept rolled out as a pilot project in October. “This is a value addition to BMTC, which is one of the best in the world. We will extend the services to 200 buses within 3-4 months,” says Vishwanath Rao S, President of IBB Marketing Services Pvt Ltd. He adds that BMTC has reported better revenues in buses with these tablets, and even bus stops will be “ICE branded”.

IBB points out why it is the different from the screens offered on private luxury bus carrier, Luxuria. “We offer an Android-based tablet and not an LCD screen, present in Luxuria. We provide real time data and user-defined content unlike Luxuria,” says Jaishiv Saxena, CEO of IBB. The model has already garnered a positive feedback from commuters. The concept will be emulated in Delhi shortly. The service, which will first be fitted in 100 buses, will eventually target 1200 buses.

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