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Air New Zealand considers Microsoft HoloLens to help cabin crew improve passenger service

Microsoft has been working with a wide range of organizations to explore how its HoloLens mixed reality headset could be put to use in a variety of commercial, engineering, defense, entertainment, education, and other scenarios, including space travel. Microsoft says it's on a mission "to bring mixed reality to every person and organization on the planet", and it's keen to consider every possible application for HoloLens as part of that process.

Today, details of the latest HoloLens trial were announced by Air New Zealand, which is considering its use of the headset as part of "the future of inflight service". The airline has partnered with Dimension Data to develop custom software for the Microsoft device "that could support cabin crew as they carry out their inflight duties".

"Data such as a customer's preferred meal and drinks choice, onward travel and loyalty membership details could be displayed," Air New Zealand said today. "The programme is even sophisticated enough to detect the emotion of the customer by picking up on visual and audio cues."

The image above shows how that data would be overlaid onto a flight attendant's view of the passenger cabin as they walk through. Air New Zealand's chief digital officer Avi Golan said that the airline has developed a culture that embraces the use of new technologies to help improve its services.

"This software is a great example of us collaborating with other partners and exploring how technology could enhance the way our people work as well as the experience they deliver to our customers through greater personalisation," he said.

Air New Zealand's use of HoloLens is very much in its early stages, but it offers a glimpse of how mixed reality could help to improve yet another industry in the years ahead.

You can get a further overview of how Air New Zealand is testing HoloLens in the video below:

Thanks for the tip, JP!

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