Dubai’s Emirates considers equipping staff with AR goggles to improve service

“We could enhance customer service tremendously,” the airline’s chief digital officer said



Dubai carrier Emirates is reportedly considering new initiatives including equipping staff with augmented reality goggles or glasses to provide more personalised service.

Bloomberg cited Emirates chief digital officer Christoph Mueller as confirming that the airline was studying the possibility of equipping staff with the goggles, which could display a passenger’s name and travel habits.

He said the carrier could also give passengers eyewear to navigate airports or browse food items.

“We could enhance customer service tremendously,” said Mueller, who was appointed last year. “The consumer will want to interact in a completely different way.”

The plans come as Emirates continues to face tough market conditions, with president Sir Tim Clark not ruling out delays to plane orders or even a tie-up with low cost carrier flydubai in the challenging environment.

Read: Emirates considers flydubai tie-up, order deferrals as profit woes continue – report

Last month, Emirates posted an 82 per cent drop in annual profit which it blamed on a series of “destabilising events” including Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and restrictive travel policies in the United States.

Read: Emirates airline posts 82% drop in annual profit

The airline has started charging some economy passengers for seat selection and is also considering plans for a premium economy class to boost revenue.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates to begin charging for seat selection

Mueller admitted augmented reality still had some way to go before it catches on, with a particular challenge matching AR goggles with Emirates’ smooth aesthetic, but he suggested it may only be a matter of time.

“It still looks a little bit odd,” he said. “But maybe that can be overcome.”

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