Google Glass get put to work by an airline


Up to now, it seems like Google Glass have only been good for making you into a pariah or getting beat up.

Japan Airlines, however, has found something useful in the eyewear. The company, in conjunction with Nomura Research Institute is conducting a trial with the glasses at Honolulu Airport to see how well the glasses work in performing inspections of planes.

The glasses will be worn by cargo and maintenance personnel working around the plane on the tarmac, since they are the ones who are closest to the birds. They will make visual inspections of the plane, but they won't be making judgment calls, since these people aren't trained in assessing an airplane. Instead, the video and whatever it picks up will be transmitted to JAL headquarters staff, who will take a close look at the plane.


The maintenance staff will also receive information and instruction by audio during ground operations from staff at headquarters and have information and images displayed on the screen of Glass, such as the checklist of baggage loading/unloading work.

Additionally, there will be a barcode reader in the glasses to automatically reconfirm cargo and luggage as it is being checked in or out, and a phone call/email can also be sent or received with the glasses.

NRI's role is that it served as co-developer of the applications and interfaces for the Glass wearers and the people in the office who receive the transmissions from the ground crew. It's part of a larger program called "NRI future garage" to promote the optimization of user interfaces. It aims to achieve more secure operational control services of the JAL business.

In the future, JAL is open to potentially using this in other field areas such as passenger assistance. What the airline does will be assessed based on the result of the trial in addition to how well Google Glass does once it enters the market.

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