Air New Zealand is working with Dimension Data to develop proprietary software for Microsoft’s augmented reality HoloLens that could take flying into the future. It also makes their cabin crew look like it raided Geordi LaForge’s Star Trek wardrobe, but that’s just an added benefit.
The AR headsets can be used to help flight attendants improve customer service—a welcome idea in this day and age—by “aggregating and displaying key customer information directly in front of them,” according to a press release. Such information could include everything from a customer’s preferred meal and drink as well as membership status, meaning the flight attendant can keep your tray table stocked with tomato juice and coffee without needing to repeat the request out loud. Additionally, the program can tell if customers are, you know, happy, a technology that United might also want to invest in. It’s unclear when or whether this tech will become widely used on Air New Zealand, but please note for our next flight that we like our coffee black.
As The Verge notes, Air New Zealand has always been a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to the future of air travel. They have an award-winning unaccompanied minor tracking system called AirBand and introduced a biometrics-enabled self-service bag drop in the Auckland airport back in 2015. Delta just announced their plans to unroll a similar technology this summer.