Virgin Atlantic eyes up Google Glass through new trial

Airline's concierge staff at London Heathrow to trial Google's device over the next six weeks

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic revealed today that it is trialling Google Glass devices among its staff to see how the technology could be used to improve the experience of the airline's highest-paying passengers.

The Google Glass spectacles include a small screen that can be used to deliver apps, directions, social media streams and web pages just above the right eye. The wearable computer also allows wearers to take a picture, record a video and read messages.

Over the next six weeks, concierge staff working in Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow's Terminal 3 will aim to use Google Glass to check-in customers and provide them with flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information.

In order to make this possible, Virgin Atlantic has integrated Google Glass with a purpose-built dispatch app built by SITA and the Virgin Atlantic passenger service system.

The dispatch app manages all task allocation and concierge availability. It also pushes individual passenger information directly to the assigned concierge's smart glasses just as the passenger arrives at the Upper Class Wing.

Virgin Atlantic said Google Glass also has the potential to tell staff their passengers' dietary and refreshment preferences.

The airline is also trialling Sony's SmartWatch 2 over the same six week time period.

Dave Bulmad, Virgin Atlantic IT director, said: "The fact that air travel has become so accessible has led to some of the sheen being lost for many passengers. By being the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve customer experience we are...putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience.

Google Glass and other wearables are being trialled by an increasing number of businesses, including the New York Police Department, which said last week that it was investigating whether the technology could be used to help enforce the law.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Thanks for this. The key for me is the effective of governance where it dictates and sets the proactive policy when it comes to CX. Tech ...

Hitesh Parekh

6 lessons in modern marketing from a customer experience chief

Read more

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...


CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in