Virgin Atlantic uses wearable tech for passenger check-ins

By Silky Malhotra | Updated 11 Feb 2014
Virgin Atlantic uses wearable tech for passenger check-ins
  • Virgin Atlantic is using Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology at London Heathrow airport, for passenger check in.

Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline for  using Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology for passenger check-in at the London Heathrow airport in an innovative pilot scheme.


Virgin Atlantic has tied up with air transport IT specialist SITA, and will be the first in the industry to test the latest wearable technology. The program, currently designed to aid customer service staff attending to upper class passengers, uses Google Glass and Sony's Smart Watch 2 to serve up information about passengers and their destinations.

The airline staff will be able to update passengers about the flight information, translate foreign languages, weather or inform them about local events happening at their destination. If successful, Virgin says that they would bring Google Glass or the Sony watches to other airports as well.


Virgin Atlantic director of IT, Dave Bulman, said: "Our wearable technology pilot with SITA makes us the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve the 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 said in a statement.

SITA chief technology officer Jim Peters said: "At SITA Lab, we've taken the lead in testing and trialing this new technology for the air transport industry, and it's been fantastic to work with Virgin Atlantic to launch the industry's first wearable technology application."


Google Glass is available for users who sign for up the company's Glass Explorer program, with the hardware running $1,499 a pair. Google recently added new features to its Glass including wink gesture to take photos, updated security features, full Hangouts support and also has a new option for uploading videos directly to YouTube.

Source: SITA

Silky Malhotra

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