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Virgin Atlantic trialling Google Glass

Virgin Atlantic trialling Google Glass
12 Feb 2014

Virgin Atlantic is set to become the first airline to trial the use of Google Glass technology in a bid to enhance the passenger experience.

Staff working in the carrier's Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow's Terminal 3 will use the gadgets to greet passengers by name and help them check-in for their flights during a six-week test. In the future, workers wearing the spectacles will be able to inform fliers of the weather and understand customers' dietary requirements. 

Google Glass is just one of a number of pieces of wearable technology being lined up by the company. Sony's SmartWatch 2 features a purpose-built dispatch app that retains information about a flight's passengers and allows the cabin crew to give a more personalised service. 

Other innovations on the way include iBeacon - an online service that informs iPhone users onboard of the latest offers, services and flight boarding schedules- and an enhanced Virgin Atlantic mobile site that will allow passengers to check in and book new flights. 

Commenting on the inspiration behind this new technological drive, Dave Bulman, director of IT at Virgin Atlantic, said that the accessibility of flying means the experience has lost some of its 'sheen' for 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,' he explained. 

Previous pioneering work by Virgin, includes when it became the first airline to have mobile connectivity on board. These kinds of technology are something that greatly interests the modern passenger, with 55% of those polled recently by Populus saying that they would like to see Wi-Fi introduced by airlines. 

The rules have recently been relaxed in Europe and the USA to enable airlines to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices at all stages of the flight as long as they are in flight mode during take-off and landing.ADNFCR-408-ID-801692873-ADNFCR

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