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ANA Tomo

An Airport Companion Device

​That Makes Flying Less Intimidating.

Year :

Corporate Partner :

Design Team :


All Nippon Airways

Aalto University

Helena Meissner, Sujith Padaru,

Jaako Pohja, Meera Sivanathan

Kyoto Institute of Technology

Chihiro Akatsuka, Haruka Goi, 

Kaho Takahashi, Marine Zorea


As Japan’s average population age continues to rise, All Nippon Airways (ANA) wished to better include elderly travelers. To accomplish this, ANA challenged the student team from Aalto University and the Kyoto Institute of Technology to make air travel less intimidating in order to make it more desirable for elderly passengers.

Upon looking further into the issue, the student team found that older passengers often experienced a lack of control within airports. Boarding gates are ever-changing, airport layouts are unfamiliar, and timing is of the essence-these all add up to a not-so-pleasant time for almost anyone.

To battle the stress, the team created the ANA tomo, a companion device which passengers receive upon checking in and return at their boarding gate.

The handheld device acts as a navigator for travelers, alerting them of where they are in the airport process and reminding them of what time they should arrive at their gate. With the click of a single button, the tomo can also show the passenger their flight information. Notifications can be sent when the passenger walks by the last set of bathrooms or when gates are changed. With location tracking, airlines are also able to locate passengers who are late for boarding, preventing any potential flight delays.

The tomo is not a map-based in-door navigation system. Through iterative prototyping, features were boiled down to the essentials so that users can intuitively understand the interface without any instructions. Though the concept began with a focus on older passengers, the final prototypes can be used by all ANA passengers to create a less stressful travel and transit experience. In the future, the tomo could also be extended to be a digital boarding pass at airports.

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