This world is starting to get really interesting – and we have virtual, augmented, and mixed reality to thank for it. Over the next few years, we’re going to see an entire class of The Best Augmented Reality Glasses hitting the consumer marketplace. The Microsoft HoloLens, although their Development Edition is in the hands of the tech-savvy, have yet to release their consumer-friendly version to the masses. But that doesn’t mean corporations across the globe aren’t getting their ducks in order for when these revolutionary AR headsets go mainstream.
Microsoft HoloLens’ Real-World Application
For a little background information: Microsoft HoloLens is “the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you.” By combining both virtual and augmented reality, HoloLens allows you to overlay 3D holograms onto any real-world backdrop.
With that being said, you could see why there is plenty of real-world application for this technology. Air New Zealand – the passenger airline with 21 domestic and 31 international destinations in 19 countries – has the same sentiment. With the hopes of upgrading the cabin service, Air New Zealand is using Microsoft HoloLens glasses to personalize the in-flight passenger experience.
Upgraded Cabin Service
When worn by the flight attendants, the HoloLens has the ability to overlay detailed passenger preferences like preferred meals, detailed travel plans, time since their last drink, etc.
With built-in sensors and a full suite of mixed reality apps, the HoloLens headset can be controlled with a gaze, gesture, or voice command. So all the Flight Attendant would have to do is stare at a passenger and instantly have access to their in-flight preferences.
Still, in its development phase, the HoloLens has the potential to detect a person’s emotional state. Imagine if the flight crew, with just a simple gaze, can determine whether or not a passenger feels terrified with heavy turbulence or satisfied after receiving their meal. With the combination of facial recognition technology and heart rate monitoring sensors, this is all possible.
As the first fully self-contained holographic computer, HoloLens captures information about the surrounding environment. With its Sensor Fusion technology, Microsoft HoloLens can see, map, and understand the physical places, spaces, and things around us. If there an obnoxious passenger disturbing other passengers, the Microsoft HoloLens technology will be able to pick up on the emotional shift of the cabin. If a second delay while sitting on the runway has passengers up in arms, the HoloLens can pick up on the mood change – alerting the crew that it may be time for an announcement over the intercom to appease the restless crowd.
The Future of Augmented Reality
The fully immersive experience, which is so critical to virtual and augmented reality, depends as much on visual stimulation as it does auditory. HoloLens’ Spatial Sound technology is designed for the optimal acoustic experience. By synthesizing sound from a specific location and engineering the audio around the anatomy of the human ear, flight attendants can easily detect passengers from anywhere. By simply pressing the call button or asking for assistance, the Microsoft HoloLens glasses can pick up the sound and instantly overlay passenger details.
The only real drawback from Air New Zealand’s innovative HoloLens experiment: the headsets may be a bit intimidating to passengers. The bulky futuristic design could take some getting use to and may turn off some elders or children while they wait for takeoff. One thing is for sure, there are some fascinating ways in which the world can start using augmented reality devices. The Air New Zealand experiment is a perfect example.