Exciting news in the wearable tech sector, if sector it be. Virgin Atlantic are trialing Google Glass to enhance the customer experience for their Upper Class passengers.
So, when you, the honoured Upper Class passenger step from your chauffeur driven limo you are greeted by a stewardess in the smart, regulation Virgin red.
Presumably then she – or he – starts winking at you and smiling. Touching her – or his – temple, looking coyly left and up.
She – or he – knows your name. She – or he – is full of information and knowledge. The flight is on time, the weather in Mumbai – or Singapore – is 34 degrees and humid. Drinks can be ordered, hair cuts booked, massages arranged.
They are doing this because the numbers of airline passengers has sky rocketed over the past decade and yet the experience has gone the other way (no, really?).
They are doing it, they say, to shake things up, to push the innovation boundaries and to make the experience better and better.
They are also experimenting with other wearable technologies and with iBeacon, which will be deployed in lounges to offer discounts for their loyal customers as well as a host of travel related information.
As you may know, BillingViews is pretty cynical about Google Glass and most wearable technology and there are many who agree. Perhaps the best test for either of these gadgets is, as Sonny Vu, CEO of Misfit Ventures said at the recent Wearable Tech show, is the turn around test. “At the moment none of the wearable systems passes the turn-around test – as in, if you were on the way to work and realised you’d left it behind, would you turn around to get it?”
Until they become invisible or cool, they will remain niche.
Meanwhile, when you check in for your next Virgin Atlantic flight, do not misinterpret that wink.