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Virgin Atlantic using Google Glass, Sony smartwatches for London passenger check-in

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Glass At The Gate (virgin atlantic)
Glass At The Gate (virgin atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has begun a six-week test aimed at giving its employees more information about some passengers as they enter the London Heathrow airport. The program, which is currently designed only to aid customer-service staff attending to upper-class passengers, uses Google Glass and Sony's SmartWatch 2 to serve up information about passengers and their destinations:

From the minute Upper Class passengers step out of their chauffeured limousine at Heathrow's T3 and are greeted by name, 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. In future, the technology could also tell Virgin Atlantic staff their passengers' dietary and refreshment preferences - anything that provides a better and more personalized service.

For flight info, weather, and local events

Virgin says the program replaces an existing service that gave its employees customized information. If successful, Virgin says it could bring Glass or the Sony watches to other airports, though the company did not say whether it might trickle the service down to passengers with lower tier tickets.

Google Glass continues to be available only to those who sign for up the company's Glass Explorer program, with the hardware running $1,499 a pair (or more if you opt for the new prescription frames). It's unclear just how many units of Glass and the Sony smartwatch Virgin Atlantic bought and plan to use as part of the pilot.