by Martin Ferguson in Brussels
Staff at Copenhagen Airport have successfully trialled Google Glasses as part of a pilot programme to evaluate whether or not the technology could help improve customer service.
The wearable devices, developed by global IT firm Sita, were said to reduce the amount of paper duty managers had to carry in the airport, and provided instant access to information about duty rosters, desk allocation sheets, peak prognosis, passenger numbers and cruise arrivals.
Those involved in the trial said having access to services such as Google Translate, in addition to gate, baggage and flight information improved the level of service they could provide to travellers.
“And because the devices are hands-free, our managers are not focusing on a screen and can engage better with our passengers,” said Marie-Louise Lotz, the airport’s director of customer care.
It was also noted that sharing information with colleagues by using the camera for documentation purposes and publishing photos on a closed work forum promoted instant interaction between duty managers.
Jim Peters, Sita’s chief technology officer, said the killer benefit was the new way of working brought about by hands-free technology, but admitted there were some flaws that needed ironed out.
“We saw real benefits for both passengers and service staff at Copenhagen Airport,” he said.
“The devices need improved scanning capability, battery life and reduced heating during operation. But the potential for widespread usage in the air transport industry is great.
Peters said Sita Labs would continue testing and researching the best ways for this innovative technology to be used by airports and airlines.