POST Online Media Lite Edition


Google Glass to stare at you at airports

Staff writer |
Airline passengers are likely to soon be greeted by cabin crew wearing Google Glass as they board aircraft, as airlines look to improve operational efficiencies, the head of SITA Lab has said.

Article continues below

SITA, the air transport communication and IT specialists, are in discussions with a number of airlines and airports to roll out the technology, said Renaud Irminger, Director of SITA Lab, at a press conference at the SITA AIR Transport IT Summit in Brussels.

Copenhagen Airport has given Google Glass the “thumbs up” following a successful trial by its passenger services team. Working with SITA Lab, the technology research group at SITA, Copenhagen Airport is the first airport in the world to trial Google Glass.

Airline cabin crews, including Etihad Airways, already use SITA tablet technology (SITA CrewTablet) on board to access passenger and operational data. Though some airlines have restricted the use of the technology to greet passengers flying at the pointy end of the aeroplane.

Previously, SITA has trialled Google Glass with Virgin Atlantic ground staff at London Heathrow Airport. The staff used the Google Glass, along with Sony smart watches, to check in passengers. SITA has also just wrapped up a trial at Copenhagen Airport where two staff members used the Google Glass technology.

SITA declined to put an exact time frame on when they expect airlines to start rolling out the technology, pointing to the fact that Google still restricts the global availability of Google Glass.

SITA currently has 10 Google Glass devices in the SITA Lab, its innovation division. It once had a many as 12, however, some have been damaged. Irminger confirmed that SITA has spent almost $20,000 purchasing the devices that were sold by Google at $1500 each.

Irminger also confirmed that Google is "impressed" with the SITA trials and has offered to produce and sell SITA as many devices it needs. Airlines have lengthy paper copy manifestos on each flight that contain details of those passengers on board. The use of portable technology could remove the need for the hard copy.

What to read next

Baidu confirms Baidu Eye, competitor to Google Glass
Seiko: Our product will be far superior to Google glass
Google appeals against $2.9 billion EU antitrust fine