Google Glass and Sony’s SmartWatch 2 have become a part of British airliner Virgin Atlantic’s pilot program. The upper class Virgin Atlantic customers reaching London’s Heathrow airport will be greeted with the staff wearing Google Glass. The wearable devices help customer service staff offer highly personalized service on Virgin flights.
Virgin also testing iBeacon along with Google Glass
Virgin Atlantic said that its staff will be using Google Glass to check in passengers upon arrival, greet them by name, and provide them information about their flight, local events at the destination and weather. The wearable device will also help staff translate any foreign language information. According to DailyMail, Google Glass may also tell staff about refreshment and dietary preferences of travelers.
Virgin Atlantic is also testing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iBeacon technology at Heathrow airport. The technology will notify the iOS users about nearby Apple devices, services, discounts and updates. Virgin Atlantic has a long history of innovation. It was the first airline to allow SMS texting and mobile connectivity on board in 2011. The company offers 3G on its A330 aircraft, and is currently testing WiFi on board. Virgin Atlantic’s 787s will soon have 4G LTE technology on board.
Virgin Atlantic first airline to test Google Glass
The British airliner said if Google Glass and Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758)’s smartwatches are successful during the pilot program, it will bring them to other airports. Google Glass is available to those who have signed up for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Glass Explorer program. It costs around $1,499 a pair.
Virgin Atlantic recently conducted a survey on 10,000 passengers to understand what travelers like and dislike about flying. About 60% people said they wanted bigger windows and more space. About 55% said they would prefer on-board WiFi, and 41% passengers wanted an in-flight entertainment system. Dave Bulman, the director of IT at Virgin Atlantic, said that it’s the first company to test Google Glass and smartwatches to improve the customer experience.