Minority Report-like avatar coming to New York airports

Remember those virtual people in Minority Report who "talked" to Tom Cruise when he went into the clothing store? Well, travelers who use New York City's three major commercial airports will soon see something very similar. New York City's Port Authority announced this week that these "virtual customer care representatives" will be put into terminals in the LaGuardia, Newark and JFK airports sometime in early July.

The press release states, "This is the first time this technology will be used at an airport in North America, and the computerized, hologram-like avatars will provide automated, basic information to travelers ..." The Associated Press reports that the five of these avatar units, which cost $250,000 each, will be installed. The city will rent them for $180,000 for six months.

You can see a demo of what the avatar will look like in the video above. WYNC.com reports that these "virtual customer care representatives" will activate when a person approaches the unit. The avatar will then offer up flight information along with info on how to get a shuttle bus or taxi once you leave the terminal. Sorry, these first generation units are not interactive but you can bet that kind of support will come in future versions.

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