Virgin Atlantic testing Google Glass’ ability to identify passengers

February 10, 2014
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Google Glass, through it’s trials (literally) and tribulations, has a lot of upside amidst the bad press. Though nobody is really sure where the headwear will take us just yet, Virgin Atlantic is involved in a rather interesting trial of the heads-up headwear. At London’s Heathrow airport, Virgin staff servicing the Upper Class lounge are using Glass in a really unique way.


By using the headwear to identify passengers, Virgin is trying to provide a very unique experience, with guests being mentioned by name and greeted personally prior to any introduction. Hostesses are using Glass to make guest visits a bit more personal, and give things that little extra ‘something’. The technology is also said to start the check-in process, and will attempt to feed the hostess info about a passenger’s destination, like weather or airport information, before they even speak to us.

Interesting, but likely expensive. At $1,500 a pop, Glass is no passing investment, even if it is just a group of hostesses using the device. A similar service can arguably be had with Apple’s iBeacon — or Gimbal, Qualcomm’s BLE technology. The tiny Gimbal transmitters can identify people in line, and even feed the hostess info on their screen as a guest walks up. Those are also a much smaller investment, and let’s face it — they’re not going to rely on Glass to make sure you’re who you appear to be. They’ll want all the necessary info and paperwork, rendering Glass little more than a jumpstart on the process — again, something BLE technology like Gimbal can theoretically do, and likely better.

The trial is set to last six weeks, and is the latest in real-world trials Glass is seeing. The New York Police Department is currently testing Glass for a similar purpose, though that’s a bit more incendiary than a quicker pass through an airport line. The worst that can happen here is you think the hostess is rolling their eyes at you when they were just meaning to check your flight info. Still, we expect detractors, so it will be interesting to see if Glass is implemented at Virgin Atlantic, or sent packing in favor of alternative tech.

Source: The Daily Mail

VIA: 9to5Google


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  • guest

    Wonder if they will have pictures too of you being frisked at the gate???