Crew could be testing Google Glass soon under SITA plan


BRUSSELS: Equipping flight crew with Google Glass, and ensuring the devices are connected via onboard connectivity to improve the passenger experience is in the cards for airlines, the head of SITA Lab confirmed today.

Asked by Runway Girl Network if we can expect Google Glass to be used in-flight, and whether SITA will work with its OnAir inflight connectivity unit on a solution, Renaud Irminger said, “Absolutely, we have indeed [issued a] proposal for an airline to provide Google Glass to some of their crew members on board the plane with connectivity and trials are not defined or decided yet, but absolutely with connectivity on board [this] can be used for crew members.”

SITA Lab recently partnered with Copenhagen Airport on a two-month trial of Google Glass by the facility’s passenger services team. The airport gave the trial a resounding thumbs up today. Having a hands-free technology in front of your eyes is “valued on the ground”, notes Irminger, “but even more valuable on the plane”.

“We do crew tablet software with some airlines” and so SITA envisages using a Google Glass-like version in-flight in the future, he adds. This will enable crew to personalize the onboard passenger experience in a whole new way.

Google Glass isn’t without its challenges, however, as discovered in the Copenhagen trial. SITA chief technology officer Jim Peters says, “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. SITA will continue testing and researching the best ways for this innovative technology to be embraced by airports and airlines.”