AR glasses gives a clearer view of the runway. Yes, this is absolutely true for the world’s best airport, where they are receiving an augmented reality upgrade. Passengers at the Singapore’s Changi Airport would be able to now witness shorter waiting times, for their flights, with the latest introduction of AR for its ground staff crew.
Probably the world’s first usage of AR in ramp handling, the technology is manifested within in a pair of smart glasses, which will depict the instructions to the staff.
Like for instance, a ground staff loading Cargos on to a plane would now able to ‘see’ and scan a virtual QR code displayed on cargo or baggage containers, and through these glasses, instantly view the details like its weight, loading sequence and allocated position within the aircraft.
Further, the cameras installed within the glasses would also permit the center staff to monitor what the handlers actually perceive in reality.
The organization behind this innovation is SATS i.e. the Changi’s Airport main ground handling firm. They have commissioned the smart glasses from the Hardware maker Vuzix and the custom software credits goes to AR design firm, EON Reality.
Now, as per SATS, this new process could see loading times being cut down from 60 minutes to just 45 minutes, leading to shorter waiting times for passengers, and shorten transit times for air freight shippers.
Further, Kevin Chin, Vice President of Projects at SATS, added that, “Currently we have challenges [such as] limited real time information, we use manual loading instructions [in the form of paper reports] and are limited to walkie-talkies, [which] may be loud and hard to hear [with loud background noises]”.
The shortcomings of the glasses:
Now comes the sad part of the story. For an individual, each pair of glasses can work for only an hour. After that, the handler would have to carry an extra battery pack for lasting the charge of the AR glasses up to 5 hours. This implies that within that the batteries would last for six hours of a typical eight-hour work shift.
Of course, the question of adaptability comes here where SATS unveiled that the crew members almost took an average of a week to get accustomed with these new glasses.
Right now, almost 600 of the SATS’ staff are being trained to acquire the complete knowledge on AR glasses and hopes are afloat that the full implementation would be completed by mid-2018.