Perennial innovators Air New Zealand are now experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR) as they introduce the AR based ‘HoloLens’ which will provide key customer information directly to the cabin crew.
The technology, currently in beta testing, will tell stewards and stewardesses data about the passenger such as the preferred meal they might have and what loyalty membership bonuses they have gained with the airline.
Interestingly, Air New Zealand states that the technology is so advanced that it can detect the emotion and feelings of a passenger by reading body language and voice tones.
This is another example of Air New Zealand taking in the most disruptive technology in the market and searching for ways for them to implement it in a rather stagnant industry like the airline industry.
Avi Golan, Chief Digital Officer of Air New Zealand, believes that the technology shows how through collaboration internally as well externally, there is a great potential to improve the customer experience.
“This software is a great example of us collaborating with other partners and exploring how technology could enhance the way our people work as well as the experience they deliver to our customers through greater personalisation,” he said.
HoloLens is a Microsoft AR product, and information technology service provider Dimension Data has been working closely with the airline to ensure that the AR glasses give the most necessary information to users.
Augmented reality being introduced into the airline market is a reminder once again that when it comes to the best user experience, the key is to combine the physical and digital to create a ‘phygital’ presence.
Jonathan Glensiter, Digital Strategic Solutions Manager for Dimension Data, believes that the technology could have a great, positive impact for a customer’s travel experience.
“We worked with the Air New Zealand cabin crew to trial a Microsoft HoloLens application. The app uses cognitive services and surfaces relevant data about the passenger, their preferences and their journey.
“Although it is only in beta at this point, we think there are great possiblities to take it further and transform the travel experience,” he said.
Not for the first time, Air New Zealand is at the forefront when it comes introducing unique practices to explore their potential in the airline industry, such as when they started using 3D printing to produce their cocktail trays.