Seat Exchange System using peer to peer , spontaneous networking and web-services
Original Publication Date: 2002-Mar-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
In the modern world many people travel. One of the universal pains endured by travellers is the inability to receive the seat of their choice. It is possible to attempt to book a particular seat position or type of seat with the travel provider . However in many cases this is unsuccessful and almost always due to a catch22 situation. Traveller A wants the seat that traveller B has and vice versa, but neither is aware of the existence of the other. This invention applies peer-to-peer, spontaneous networking and web services to provide a solution to this issue. Thus travellers with a peer-to-peer capability can form spontaneous connections with their physical and logical neighbours with the use of line of sight (ie infrared) or wireless technology. A traveller runs a web service on their mobile device offering to exchange their seat for one more suitable. This web service interacts with an equivalent service running on another travellers machine. Interaction between machines is triggered either by the spontaneous network created as people move about, or via the internet. Once a seat exchange has been agreed then the travellers can swap at a point dictated by the travel supplier. In the case of air travel, many airlines now offer electronic ticketing. In these situations the seat exchange could be made by the airline offering a seat exchange facilitation service that would allow the traveller to exchange seats and take residence before the flight. In an alternative arrangement, rather than a peer-to-peer type system, the air-lines could also support a seat swapping scheme. In other words, travellers enter information into an air-line server application detailing their preferred type of seating, and seat allocations are altered so as to try to optimise fulfilment of customer preferences. Customers could interact with this application over the Internet or other suitable network from laptops, handheld devices, or any other suitable terminal. Note that the concepts of the invention are not limited to aircraft, and extend in principle to other situations, such as train or theatre tickets.