Virgin Atlantic is equipping its engineers at London’s Heathrow Airport with Sony smart glasses and smartwatches so they can stream video tutorials and check for job updates, respectively, according to Engadget. The true test of the wearable tech will be whether it is streamlined enough to help engineers do their jobs better, and not just get in their way.
The devices in question are the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1 and Sony SmartWatch 3, Engadget reported. The plan is for the on-site engineers to beam video from the smart glasses back to their overseeing technicians in the control room, who will view the stream via a dedicated app. The smartwatch will act as the engineers’ activity log for managers to observe and alter should they need to change engineers’ tasks, according to Sony’s press release.
Sony began letting developers request SmartEyeglass in mid-February with plans to release it next year–a bold step forward after Google suspended its own smart eyewear Glass for consumers back in January.
Like Sony, Google is hoping its wearable tech will become a valued tool for certain industries, if not yet for consumers. Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol airport has started deploying Google Glass to airport staff, who use it to track flight and gate info, and record journeys through the airport to refine the customer experience.
While it remains to be seen whether Sony’s smart-device suite really improves ground operations, Virgin Atlantic is just the forward-looking airline to try it. Last year, the airline equipped its Upper Class Lounge staff with Google Glass so they could greet customers with up-to-date travel information.