In news of a creepy nature, Virgin Atlantic is testing Google Glass at London Heathrow for its Upper Class Customers as a point of information.
In the first instance the technology will be used to greet passengers by name, and start the check-in process. The technology will then be able to deliver information to staff to relay to the passengers about latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information. The idea is to extend this so it customises the premium flyers experience.
Google Glass in Action – Image SITA/Virgin Atlantic.
As well as using Google Glass, Virgin Atlantic will also use Sony Smartwatch2’s to push information to staff as needed. Both have custom applications installed to “push” information to staff.
For passengers with Apple devices – don’t feel left out as Virgin Atlantic will be rolling out iBeacons shortly allowing data to be pushed to phones and tablets which could notify users of nearby services, discounts and updates on their flight boarding schedules.
Virgin Atlantic director of IT Dave Bulman states:
“While it’s fantastic that more people can now fly than ever before, the fact that air travel has become so accessible has led to some of the sheen being lost for many passengers”
“By being the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve customer experience, we are upholding Virgin Atlantic’s long tradition of shaking things up and putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience.”
The system developed by SITA is under test and as such is the first implementation of the use of “wearable” technology, which seems to be turning into a hot topic as the move to mobile just in time information continues (with airlines rolling out tablets as a way to get information into the hands of front line staff).
The Google Glass privacy concerns however are still apparent (with apps like NameTag flagging big issues over facial recognition) , so it will be interesting to see how this is handled too.