Aviation

Air NZ trials future of travel with social robots

Air New Zealand customers at Sydney Airport will get to experience the role robots may play in future travel journeys this week.

The airline is partnering with CommBank in a five-day experiment utilising Chip CANdroid, the bank’s social humanoid robot, which will interact with and assist Air NZ customers checking in and at the gate prior to boarding.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan said, “This partnership and experiment with Commbank and Chip is another way we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology which will allow us to further enhance the experience we offer our customers.”

Air New Zealand has worked with a range of technology partners to introduce innovations which are enhancing the experience it offers customers.

For example, Oscar, the artificial intelligence–backed chatbot has been introduced to assist customers with a more personalised online experience or biometric bag drops which identify customers using face-to-passport recognition.

“We are also experimenting with potential enhancements of the future, including the idea of our cabin crew one day using Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality viewers onboard our aircraft,” said Golan.

Commonwealth Bank established a social robotics team within its Sydney Innovation Lab in late 2016, with the goal of partnering with different businesses to get robots out of the concept stage and into commercial contexts.

Tiziana Bianco, General Manager Innovation Labs, Commonwealth Bank said, “This experiment is a great example of why we invested in social robotics; working collaboratively with an innovative client like Air New Zealand, while also engaging some of the brilliant minds from UTS’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the possibilities of a horizon technology such as social robotics, and what it might enable in the future.”

Bianco added social robots can bring to life information that is not particularly engaging when delivered by a screen.

“People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to do,” she said.

“Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces.

“The opportunity to experiment with a robot like Chip in a real world environment such as Sydney Airport is unique, even on a global scale.”

Air New Zealand customers can meet Chip at the Air New Zealand check-in counter and at selected departure gates at Sydney International Airport until Friday 25 August.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Tourism

Travel DAZE to Kick Arse on September 3!

BREAKING: The industry’s favourite travel forum is back for another year – and less than two weeks away! Oh, and Bruce Poon Tip is speaking, so we’d get your tickets fast if we were you.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

If you’re thinking of booking a holiday, this wholesaler wrap is just the thing. It’s also perfect if you want to feel extra sad about being in the office today instead of at one of these places.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Qantas debuts new campaign starring Hugh Jackman

Is that strong coffee just not getting you in the mood for work this Monday morning? Have a helping of Hugh Jackman instead. You’re welcome.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

TravelManagers partners up with Luxury Escapes

by Ali Coulton

Our wandering scribe managed to file this story in between luaus from the TravelManager’s annual conference in Hawaii

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

INDUSTRY FIRST: TravelManagers to provide free mental health support

We’ve been applauding TravelManagers’ amazing new initiative from our desk all morning. Which is a departure from our normal Monday routine of sleeping on it.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AMAZING RACE: This is how all famils should be run!

Sipping mai tais, crashing wedding photos AND paying for strangers laundry? Sounds eerily similar to the end results of a Travel Weekly staff party.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Lombok suffers another devastating earthquake

Another earthquake has struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, hitting the tourist hotspot two weeks to the day after a quake which killed more than 480 people.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

L.A’s top hotels launch “Endless Summer” promotion

Coincidentally, we’re getting our own glimpse of summer by looking at the colour of our bright blue freezing cold hands. Close enough, right?

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

The 10 simple steps to successful business

by Tammy Marshall

Have you walked nine steps with your business and are still not finding success? Walk no longer, the tenth lies within.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight review: Hawaiian Airlines Extra Comfort SYD-HNL

Travel Weekly roadtested Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort option. Though that’s not to say we piloted the plane from there, we were much too comfy for anything that strenuous.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Here’s how to avoid common travel insurance traps

We chatted with Finder.com.au’s insurance expert Richard Laycock to bring you some great tips and tricks about how to cut through jargon and decipher the fine print.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

These are the best dates to book flights for the festive season

There’s nothing more stressful than trying to book flights for the festive period. Except for Christmas shopping, cooking the Christmas roast, and just about every other aspect of the silly season.

Share

CommentComments