The future might just be going all Total Recall on us, with people at airports using augmented reality headsets and wrist-mounted computers to greet and process passengers. At least that’s the plan according to Virgin Atlantic who are starting up a six week trial run of Google’s Glass and Sony’s Smartwatch as assistants for staff interacting with passengers.
According to SITA, who are part of Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow Airport trial, “…Virgin Atlantic staff wearing the technology will start the check-in process. At the same time, staff will be able to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information.” At the moment the tests will be limited to Virgin’s Upper Class passengers, so travelling on a cheaper ticket means that you’ll likely miss out on the (for now) novel experience of interacting with a temporary cyborg.
They’re not planning on stopping there however, the system might later be used to give Virgin staff access to more personal information about flyers, like any special dietary requirements or meal preferences. Perhaps they’ll extend this to determining your own personal entertainment playlist too, though that would asking a lot of them.
Virgin isn’t planning on combining the devices though, either a Google Glass unit or a Smartwatch from Sony will be paired with “…a purpose-built dispatch app built by SITA and the Virgin Atlantic passenger service system” and either setup will be used to provide assistance to Virgin Atlantic customers. The trial is being used to test the potential of the technological augmentation and might lead to either smart device being more broadly used by the company in future.
Source: The Verge