Airlines and Wearables

Wearable technology is changing the world of travel, kicking off at the airport. Aside from the journey becoming more enjoyable starting from the ground, the innovations of wearable technology move into the plane very quickly. Not only air passengers can profit from them, also staff and airline crew are already experimenting with wearable tech innovations. From head-up displays and smartwatches to headphones, there’s no doubt that wearable technology is impacting the way we interact with devices transforming travel. Here are some interesting wearable solutions for crew members and air passengers.

Virtual Reality Headsets like Microsoft Holo Lens

Japan Airlines recently trialed Microsoft’s HoloLens for the purpose of training crew members and engineers. They are working with Microsoft’s HoloLens hologram technology to develop new ways to train rookie aircraft engine mechanics and flight crews. Traditional training for aircraft mechanics is often limited by the availability of jets that aren’t currently in use. That can make training on new jets and new engines tricky. Typically, textbooks with engine panel diagrams are used to show students the various engine parts. Mechanics can now see the inside of a Boeing Dreamliner 787 General Electric engine and take it apart without having to park and open up an aircraft. The technology could be a game-changer when it comes to training mechanics to fix the newest planes and engines. Different Airlines are still trying to figure out how to implement this formally into their training system but this could be the future.

Smart Watches like Apple watch

Both EasyJet and British Airways are among the airlines that have created apps for the Apple Watch, enabling passengers to store boarding passes and receive real-time updates on their wrist. In the travel industry, the impact of wearables and smartwatches is already tangible. Apple Watch apps from major airlines allow travelers to board quickly and painlessly with a flick of their wrist. No more misplaced boarding passes or precarious smartphone scanning. Directions using light vibrations change the way visitors navigate a city – a nudge left or right keeps you on track without having to pull out a phone. Lost or deactivated room keys become a thing of the past, and even pulling out a smartphone is not necessary when a wearable-enabled guest can simply tap the lock to enter.

Smart Glasses like Vuzix

Another wearable device which could be worn by airline´s staff are smart glasses. They could be used either at the airport or onboard the aircraft to help create a more personalized passenger experience. Vuzix smart glasses could be worn by the staff at the entrance to security, at the gate or at the aircraft door to identify passengers using facial recognition technology or it could be used in a First Class cabin to identify a specific passenger’s preferences based on their previous travel behavior. The Vuzix Smart Glasses feature a camera to scan barcodes so the user can see the specific information based on individual customer requirements, as well as enabling precise positioning during the cabin installation. So let´s see if this will be established soon.

Wearable data from apps like Skyzen

The International Air Transport Association released details of a new mobile app for passengers to monitor their health and wellbeing before, during, and after a flight. Used in conjunction with a Jawbone fitness wristband, the SkyZen app enables air travelers to view their activity and sleep patterns throughout the whole flight experience. SkyZen creates personalized insights by blending sleep and activity patterns (from your wearable device) with current and future flight activities. Users only need to enter their flight number, date and class of travel, and SkyZen will automatically collect and overlay the data. By mapping the wearable data against the flight data it can provide you personalized insights for flight and jetlag management.

Headphones like Kokoon

Especially for air passengers Kokoon could be a good choice to improve the flight experience. The Kokoon sleep sensing headphones have been designed not only for the regular sleeper, side sleeper, or sleep deprived, but also for those struggling to close their eyes when traveling, specifically frequent flyers that travel short and long distances. The headphones don´t just track sleep, you can also use them as regular headphones, being able to listen to the radio, music, or other media with great quality. Now you can focus on your next meeting without having to withstand the outside noise of the plane as they are an exceptional noise canceling choice.

Wearable technology now enables anticipatory maintenance so workers can work more effectively during scheduled maintenance and avoid what may become a situation on the Aircraft later on. Aside from the technical aspects of the project, it shows that travel companies are beginning to recognize the potential to bring together technology, brand and staff in exciting ways. Let´s see which new wearable products will be introduced by Airlines the next few years.

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