Aviation

Is this the future of inflight service?

Vanessa Bussoletti

Air New Zealand is giving travellers a sneak peek into what the future of inflight service could look like.

The airline has been working with information technology service provider Dimension Data on unique software for Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) viewer HoloLens that could support cabin crew as they carry out their inflight duties by aggregating and displaying key customer information directly in front of them.

So what’s that in plain English, I hear you asking?

Well, data is displayed to customers through an AR viewer, showing them things like a customer’s preferred meal and drinks choice, onward travel and loyalty membership details.

The program is even sophisticated enough to detect the emotion of the customer by picking up on visual and audio cues.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan said the airline is all about experimentation and this HoloLens thingymabob is a good example of that.

“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,” Golan said.

The technology could also allow the airline’s cabin crew to move to a paperless inflight system, amping up its environmental benefits.

Air New Zealand has worked with a range of tech partners on a number of innovations to enhance the customer experience lately.

These include auto bag drops to speed up the check-in process with face-to-passport recognition and Airband, a wristband for children travelling unaccompanied embedded with technology that allows parents and guardians to track each step of their young ones’ journey. 

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