Customer privacy be damned. Virgin Atlantic is kicking off a trial using Google Glass and Sony’s SmartWatch 2 to provide its employees with personalised data about its upper class passengers.
The idea is to feed service staff custom data which will help them give travellers a more pleasant travel experience. In a rather breathy, enthusiastic press release, Virgin Atlantic explains:
From the minute Upper Class passengers step out of their chauffeured limousine at Heathrow’s T3 and are greeted by name, Virgin Atlantic staff wearing the technology will start the check-in process. At the same time, staff will be able to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information. In future, the technology could also tell Virgin Atlantic staff their passengers’ dietary and refreshment preferences – anything that provides a better and more personalised service.
The airline will run a six-week test to establish whether the benefits of using Glass and smartwatches is worth it. It’s worth noting that the information supplied to staff is nothing new — they had access to it before, just at a computer terminal — so any improvement will be in the immediacy of the data.
While there’s currently no word on whether the idea may trickle down to lower tier passengers, the initiative sets an interesting precedent. Crucially, while Virgin Atlantic already has its hands on the data it will be using, some people may worry about it being so instantly available, and the ability to film and photograph passengers during their embarkation and even journey. What do you think? [Sita]