Admitting it's a long road to adoption, Virgin Atlantic airlines is testing Google Glass for customer service at London’s Heathrow airport.
Virgin Atlantic says the test is based on research that shows the experience of flight is not as exciting as it used to be for customers. Google Glass might turn that feeling around. In fact, Virgin Atlantic says a customer greeted by a Glass-wearing customer service representative might find flying to be a glamorous experience again.
Virgin writes in its press release:
“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.”
Galactic-style publicity aside, the real possibilities come with the disappearance of the ticket counter with a big computer monitor that divides the staff from passengers. Virgin Atlantic representatives can step out from behind the counter to talk with the passenger and still have instant access to the check-in process and flight updates. Notice the absence of any mention of taking pictures. It's like a natural conversation. And, while keeping eye contact, the representative can translate information into another language, given the capabilities of Glass.
This could be a breakthrough for Google to see how quickly people will become comfortable in conversation with someone who is wearing Glass—someone who is engaging and helpful, not creepy. It’s about delivering information, not sneaking a photo or video.