Virgin Atlantic begins trial of Google Glass

Virgin Atlantic airlines is to become the latest company to trial the usage of Google Glass to assist in day-to-day operations as it kicks off a test of the product in its 'Upper Class Wing'.

The six-week trial, starting from today, will see VIP Virgin customers escorted from their limousine or other luxury car to the check-in desk, as normal, where they will be met by operators wearing Glass. The product will be used to allow the airline's staff to start the check-in process as the passenger approaches the desk and to provide information about the flight, weather conditions and important news from the destination quickly and easily to the operator.

The system controlling the functionality of the app which will be used with Glass will also be capable of 'learning' passengers' preferences throughout the trial, including things such as dietary preferences during the flight.

The airline said it would evaluate the trial fully when it ended with a view to an eventual roll-out across much more of the company. Dave Bulman, director of IT at the airline, said that he thought that using Glass would more 'sheen' to its service in the eyes of its most prestigious customers, saying

"While it's fantastic that most people can now fly than ever before, the fact that air travel has become so accessible has led to some of the sheen being lost for many passengers."

Virgin Atlantic is the first airline to trial Google Glass although many other companies from other industries have done so, including last week's announcement that the New York Police Department are now also trialling Google Glass for use in regular operations.

Source & Image: The Times

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"capable of 'learning' passengers' preferences throughout the trial, including things such as dietary preferences during the flight"
Why do they need megabytes of video to do that? Just ask me, meat or fish.

Auditor said,
Who is that chick in pic. she got too much make up on.
Am yet to see any stewardesses who don't look like that.

Auditor said,
Who is that chick in pic. she got too much make up on. And I don't see any glass in google glass.

I dunno man, at least it's neat, most of the time they just look like they've Homers makeup shotgun.

I don't want to have face-to-face conversations with anybody wearing these things.
If they want to talk to me they should take it off.
I don't want a camera of any kind stuck right in my face by google gl***holes- filming (and/or appearing to be filming) while talking to someone is inhibiting to the other person and it's extremely rude.

gb8080 said,
I don't want to have face-to-face conversations with anybody wearing these things.
If they want to talk to me they should take it off.
I don't want a camera of any kind stuck right in my face by google gl***holes- filming (and/or appearing to be filming) while talking to someone is inhibiting to the other person and it's extremely rude.


Alright... Granddad.

Just imagine if everyone thought the way you did...technology, innovation, and general human progress would of never gotten out of the ice ages.

techbeck said,
Just imagine if everyone thought the way you did...technology, innovation, and general human progress would of never gotten out of the ice ages.
So just because he doesn't like a camera stuck in his face it implies he is automatically against all technology, innovation, and general human progress? Besides being an invasion of privacy I would find it mighty irritating too just as I do people who can't hold a decent conversation without constantly interrupting to text or otherwise fiddle with their phones. Damn rude the way I see it, no manners at all. It's not enough to turn it off, if I was talking seriously to someone who was wearing one of these things I'd tell them to take it off and put it aside, same as I'd expect them to do with their phones.

Edited by Romero, Feb 12 2014, 4:08am :

Yea, I bet that when the telephone was invented, people thought that was rude or stupid when you could go talk to someone in person.

Things are changing and history has proven time and time again that what was once perceived as silly, is now mainstream. You either move with the changes, or get stuck behind. Wearable tech is here to stay. It isnt going anywhere.

The phone is a boon when it facilitates, not impedes, communication. Fiddling with a cellphone constantly while sitting right in front of me and I'm trying to talk to you - no two ways about it that is goddamn rude. You might not think so but it most definitely indicates a lack of manners and basic courtesy to me. I have had candidates sitting in front of me for an interview do that. Un-effing-believable and took all the restraint I had from getting up and slapping them. I'd have the same reaction if they were to pretend to speak with me while they're actually busy reading those all-important life-or-death Facebook posts or tweets or whatever on the Google Glass. Recording or streaming the conversation without my consent would be even more creepy. I am not against all wearable tech (yet another generalization and assumption on your part) and you can wear your Fitbit 24x7 for all I care. But I sure as hell advocate restrictions on this type of wearable tech. I would never feel comfortable in a gym changing room for example or in a public restroom if someone were to walk in wearing one of these. You might think it's perfectly fine and be all too willing to surrender the last remaining shreds of privacy, but I don't and never will. I obviously wouldn't tolerate an employee wearing one of these while working on our prototype products either. I can think of many other situations where I would definitely tell people to put these away or get out if they refuse or walk out myself. I can see how you are trying hard to portray yourself as someone who moves with the times and us as dinosaurs or Luddites, but personally I will try my best to ensure that certain social norms and boundaries are always respected no matter what sort of wearable tech inventors come up with.

techbeck said,
Yea, I bet that when the telephone was invented, people thought that was rude or stupid when you could go talk to someone in person.

Things are changing and history has proven time and time again that what was once perceived as silly, is now mainstream. You either move with the changes, or get stuck behind. Wearable tech is here to stay. It isnt going anywhere.

being capable of instantly communicating with someone is a good thing; being able to use augmented reality via a device (phone, glass, contact lenses whatever) is a good thing

talking to someone who has a camera attached to their heads is frustrating; knowing that this device runs a software that couldn't be less secure is more frustrating; being recorded/listened to against your will + opt-in by a device that is attached to an ecosystem made by a company with not just no concern of personal privacy but making money from profiling you is not just frustrating, its outrageous

tech is one thing, users are another - and google is a separate category in itself

but lets turn that thing around: would you talk to me without getting even a little bit frustrated or unconfortable if i would hold my phone up like i was recording you and the conversation? of course i would do this absolutely casually

Romero said,
The phone is a boon when it facilitates, not impedes, communication. Fiddling with a cellphone constantly while sitting right in front of me and I'm trying to talk to you - no two ways about it that is goddamn rude. You might not think so but it most definitely indicates a lack of manners and basic courtesy to me. I have had candidates sitting in front of me for an interview do that. Un-effing-believable and took all the restraint I had from getting up and slapping them. I'd have the same reaction if they were to pretend to speak with me while they're actually busy reading those all-important life-or-death Facebook posts or tweets or whatever on the Google Glass. Recording or streaming the conversation without my consent would be even more creepy. I am not against all wearable tech (yet another generalization and assumption on your part) and you can wear your Fitbit 24x7 for all I care. But I sure as hell advocate restrictions on this type of wearable tech. I would never feel comfortable in a gym changing room for example or in a public restroom if someone were to walk in wearing one of these. You might think it's perfectly fine and be all too willing to surrender the last remaining shreds of privacy, but I don't and never will. I obviously wouldn't tolerate an employee wearing one of these while working on our prototype products either. I can think of many other situations where I would definitely tell people to put these away or get out if they refuse or walk out myself. I can see how you are trying hard to portray yourself as someone who moves with the times and us as dinosaurs or Luddites, but personally I will try my best to ensure that certain social norms and boundaries are always respected no matter what sort of wearable tech inventors come up with.

Some people have short attention spans and/or are rude. Technology isn't going to change that. If you don't like it when someone plays with their phone while talking to you that's fine, I find it rude too. I wouldn't mind if they were simply fiddling with the phone mindlessly with the screen off or had it in their hand but weren't looking at it though. By the same logic I wouldn't mind if someone was sitting in front of me wearing Google Glass. Most of the time the screen is off and you can see when its on so of what importance is it to me that they have some funny looking glasses on?

When the camera is on the screen is on and you can tell that they're using it. Obviously people will be able to alter it so that the screen doesn't turn on when recording but then we already have tiny spy cameras and I don't find myself worrying about those.

There are obvious occasions where Glass cannot be worn and that is wherever a camera is not allowed so it wouldn't exactly be difficult to implement these restrictions.

If you're going to tell people to take off (not just turn off the screen) glass before you talk to them then prepare to be told "no" a lot. I sure as hell wouldn't bow to your controlling whims when we can both tell that I'm not using it.

M4x1mus said,
I sure as hell wouldn't bow to your controlling whims when we can both tell that I'm not using it.
You admitted yourself to the very real possibility that the device can be altered so one can't tell whether it's in use. Since I wouldn't in that case be able to tell whether or not you're using it, I would definitely ask you to take it off. Spy cams, well what one doesn't even know about obviously one can't do anything about either. Not the case with these which are quite literally right there in your face. You can harp on my supposed "controlling whims" all you want based on just the tone of my previous comment, but quite obviously IRL I'm not going to in most situations give people an ultimatum to remove these or GTFO. Definitely though I expect that if I ask people politely to take them off because I'm not comfortable with it most no doubt will behave in a reasonable manner and do so unless they have ulterior motives. If I owned one I would have absolutely no problem taking it off if someone objected to it, even if I had it turned off. It's not as if my life depends on wearing it. We'll see how society evolves to handle increasingly intrusive devices such as these, but there is no way everyone is going to approve of completely unrestricted usage anywhere and everywhere and that's something owners will have to learn to deal with.

Romero said,
You admitted yourself to the very real possibility that the device can be altered so one can't tell whether it's in use. Since I wouldn't in that case be able to tell whether or not you're using it, I would definitely ask you to take it off.

With the current design of Google glass you can tell when its being used because you can tell when the screen is on. I said you could probably modify it so that the screen doesn't come on when you're recording something. If the screen didn't come on when you were using it in general it wouldn't be much use would it.

If you asked me to take a Glass off before talking to you I would probably just say, its off, don't worry. If you were still to ask me to take it off I would assume you didn't trust me not to browse the web while talking to you and wouldn't have much interest in talking to you.

I have no doubt hardware hacks or even apps to allow surreptitious use will become common before long.

M4x1mus said,
If you asked me to take a Glass off before talking to you I would probably just say, its off, don't worry. If you were still to ask me to take it off I would assume you didn't trust me not to browse the web while talking to you and wouldn't have much interest in talking to you.
Can't say I would be too disappointed with such a reaction. Anyway we'll see how it goes. So far thankfully there aren't many of these around to constitute a menace.

Romero said,
Can't say I would be too disappointed with such a reaction. Anyway we'll see how it goes. So far thankfully there aren't many of these around to constitute a menace.

This tech isnt going anywhere. If it doesnt take off now, it will be back in a few years.

People either need to adapt, or be perceived as the old man griping "back in my day, we didnt have these new fangled devices".

techbeck said,
People either need to adapt, or be perceived as the old man griping "back in my day, we didnt have these new fangled devices".
We'll just have to see what shape and form the tech will take, how society and law enforcement reacts to it, what restrictions will be put into place (either formally by law or due to social conventions) and so on. Assuming that it's here to stay and taking a defeatist attitude that there's no choice but to put up with any sort of outrageous behavior or usage is simply ridiculous. It's not about griping and shouting "git the hell off my lawn" (much as you might try to portray yourself as the supposedly progressive one), it's about defining what sort of lives we want to lead and how much we want technology to intrude into previously private spaces. Of course there will be people on both sides of the divide - those who will overshare every stupid mundane detail of their boring lives (as they do now on social networks) and who will similarly assume everyone else's like them and have no care for others' privacy concerns either, and those who will advocate restraint and controlled usage. Feel free to live the way you want and as long as it does not affect me I don't care. But when your actions do overstep certain boundaries I care about then I will definitely speak up. Not much more to be said really. We can revisit the debate when these sorts of devices become widespread enough that lawmakers and society in general will sit up and take notice and attempt to formulate a response.

techbeck said,
People either need to adapt, or be perceived as the old man griping
P.S. That reminds me that Metro lovers had the exact same reaction towards haters.

Romero said,
We'll just have to see what shape and form the tech will take, how society and law enforcement reacts to it, what restrictions will be put into place (either formally by law or due to social conventions) and so on.

Nothing different with headsets, phones, pagers, and other tech.

It's not about griping and shouting "git the hell off my lawn" (much as you might try to portray yourself as the supposedly progressive one)

It isnt about being progressive. Its about people not moving with the times and accepting new tech. Not the firs time this is going to happen and not the last. I remember my grandparents always saying things like "back in my day.." and why I mentioned it.

And i am betting you are being recorded now and not even realizing it. Its not the ones who are in the open you have to worry about.

But anyway, that is my opinion on it and time will tell I guess.

techbeck said,
Nothing different with headsets, phones, pagers, and other tech.
I disagree and think this is an entirely different class of device that raises far different concerns than many of those others do.

techbeck said,
Its about people not moving with the times and accepting new tech.
Here's where you're wrong and making generalizations. Is all new tech awesome in every way and should everyone just prostrate before it and hail it as the second coming of Christ? Just because people don't like this tech doesn't mean they're against all new tech in general, and your assumption is getting tiresome frankly. Even tech we heartily endorse can be twisted or modified and used for nefarious purposes, and it's our responsibility to keep those sorts of things in check. That's the general dual nature of science and technology, and ultimately it comes down to us and how we put things to use. Just because you can doesn't automatically mean you must, remember that.

techbeck said,
Its not the ones who are in the open you have to worry about.
Why not? Doesn't make it harmless just because it's out in the open, does it? As I said above to M4x1mus those are the only ones you can directly do anything about in any case. If you are under remote surveillance obviously you can only protest after the fact, but if someone's doing it right in the open then of course you can try and head them off.

I guess we'll just to agree to disagree about what sort of free reign users of such devices should be given.

Romero said,
I disagree and think this is an entirely different class of device that raises far different concerns than many of those others do.

While this class of device does have some unique concerns, so does every other device.

Phones can currently record audio while they're in your pocket, without anyone knowing. In many situations, having audio recorded secretly could be just as damaging as video, but very few people beyond the military have any rules about keeping your phone on you. How many people do you think actually do this though? Very few I'd bet.

The reason I think techbeck was saying that you will come across as an old man is because it would seem paranoid and uninformed to presume that people all around are recording everything they hear on their phone. If someone were to say that is why they don't like mobile phones, it would sound paranoid and ridiculous. The same goes for Google Glass. It has a camera but that doesn't mean its on all the time and even if it were, everyone would have footage of everyone else and no one would care about what you are doing. If you want to do something embarrassing then do it in private, just like everyone does now.

The problem with disliking a device because it has a recording device is that almost all new technology has something like this. Whether it be self driving cars, drones, the XBox One etc etc etc.

This is all assuming the NSA don't get their hands on all the footage from these devices. That is a real concern of mine, but I guess it wouldn't give them all that much more power than they currently have.

I am definitely more concerned about video (or video+audio) recording much more than audio by itself, and with a phone the former is much more difficult to do surreptitiously. But more than that it's also about devices that in the past would've been classified as spyware and never been accessible to the general public now becoming ever smaller and ubiquitous to the point where people have to give up all reasonable expectations of privacy everywhere. You also bring up an important point when you mention the NSA. Why wouldn't such devices if they proliferate give them more power than they've ever had till now? Thus far at least we haven't reached a 1984 level of tracking where our every activity is recorded. You talk about doing things in private. Need not necessarily be embarrassing, just something you don't want others to know about. Now look to the future where you have smart devices with recoding capability strewn all around the house. What then? And we all know how serious companies are about security and privacy, especially when it interferes with profit generation. You might say it's all just paranoia and hysteria, but I strongly disagree. I find it absurd when people wave all concerns away by saying that "everyone would have footage of everyone else and no one would care about what you are doing" (so what, if someone blackmails you then you blackmail them right back, is it?), or "I don't have anything to hide so don't mind being spied upon 24x7". Unfortunately by the time people think to protest it'll probably be too late and we'll have reached the point of no return. Not something I'm looking forward to. As for techbeck I get what he was trying to say but he was also mixing up his message with stupid assumptions about my reaction to all new technology.

Romero said,
I am definitely more concerned about video (or video+audio) recording much more than audio by itself, and with a phone the former is much more difficult to do surreptitiously. But more than that it's also about devices that in the past would've been classified as spyware and never been accessible to the general public now becoming ever smaller and ubiquitous to the point where people have to give up all reasonable expectations of privacy everywhere. You also bring up an important point when you mention the NSA. Why wouldn't such devices if they proliferate give them more power than they've ever had till now? Thus far at least we haven't reached a 1984 level of tracking where our every activity is recorded. You talk about doing things in private. Need not necessarily be embarrassing, just something you don't want others to know about. Now look to the future where you have smart devices with recoding capability strewn all around the house. What then? And we all know how serious companies are about security and privacy, especially when it interferes with profit generation. You might say it's all just paranoia and hysteria, but I strongly disagree. I find it absurd when people wave all concerns away by saying that "everyone would have footage of everyone else and no one would care about what you are doing" (so what, if someone blackmails you then you blackmail them right back, is it?), or "I don't have anything to hide so don't mind being spied upon 24x7". Unfortunately by the time people think to protest it'll probably be too late and we'll have reached the point of no return. Not something I'm looking forward to. As for techbeck I get what he was trying to say but he was also mixing up his message with stupid assumptions about my reaction to all new technology.

Ok cool, I can't be bothered to argue anymore. Fact is, this tech is coming, so get used to it.

M4x1mus said,
Ok cool, I can't be bothered to argue anymore. Fact is, this tech is coming, so get used to it.
Yeah, think we're done here, no point beating a dead horse. The tech is coming I know, there's no choice there. After all we can't uninvent stuff. But those of us who care won't just sit by and "get used to it"; we'll work to put usage restrictions in place whenever and wherever such restrictions are warranted. But even after all that let's see where we all end up in a decade or two, and whether we bitterly regret the choices we individually and collectively made.

Lost it's "sheen"? So in other words they are trying to add value so they can keep justifying the high costs.

I doubt it'll truly add much value for the flyers. Looks to be just a dumb gimmick to justify bumping up the prices a lot. Apparently the "upper class" passengers (who won't mind anyway) are bitterly disappointed with how accessible air travel has become and whine about having to share the plane with the nasty low class unwashed masses. Of course if these guys were truly in the upper bracket they'd be flying by private jets but till then they have to suffer the ignominy of shared travel. Hopefully people staring at them and recording their every action with Google Glasses will make them feel all special and tingly inside again.