Ex­per­i­men­tal tech

Onboard Hospitality - - Focus On -

Tech cu­ri­ous Air New Zealand has tri­alled ro­bots, aug­mented re­al­ity and

Google Pixel Buds, Laura Gelder finds out why

This year Air New Zealand be­came one of the first cor­po­rates in the world to trial Google’s wire­less Blue­tooth Pixel Buds head­phones as a cus­tomer ser­vice tool. The head­phones en­able live trans­la­tion of 40 lan­guages via Google’s Pixel hand­set.

The tri­als were con­ducted be­hind the scenes to ex­plore how the tech­nol­ogy could work in the check-in and in­flight en­vi­ron­ments but will not be used just yet as they re­quire wifi ac­cess which is yet to be in­tro­duced across the fleet. Per­haps they’re slightly ahead of them­selves?

But it's "an in­ter­est­ing tech­nol­ogy for us to play and ex­per­i­ment with" in­sists ANZ's chief dig­i­tal of­fi­cer Avi Golan. "This is part of a wider ap­proach where we’re look­ing at a range of new tech­nolo­gies to see how these can help to en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence we of­fer our cus­tomers and the way we work – in this in­creas­ingly dig­i­tal world our cus­tomers ex­pect us to pro­vide a fast, per­son­alised ex­pe­ri­ence so it’s cru­cial we em­brace tech so­lu­tions and col­lab­o­rat­ing with like-minded part­ners helps.”

Last year the air­line part­nered with Com­mBank in a five-day ex­per­i­ment util­is­ing Chip CAN­droid, the bank's so­cial hu­manoid robot, which in­ter­acted with and as­sisted its cus­tomers check­ing in and at the gate.

It also worked with IT provider Di­men­sion Data on unique soft­ware for Mi­crosoft's aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) viewer HoloLens. This could sup­port cabin crew by ag­gre­gat­ing and dis­play­ing key cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion such as pre­ferred meal and drinks choice, on­ward travel plans and loy­alty de­tails. It can also de­tect pas­sen­ger emo­tions by pick­ing up on visual and au­dio cues.

Golan says the air­line has fos­tered a strong cul­ture of ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and it is keen to see which will stick.

This year marked the first birth­day of one tech suc­cess story: chat­bot

Os­car, who is cur­rently hav­ing 1,000 con­ver­sa­tions a day on av­er­age. Golan claims the ANZ bot has his own unique tone and per­son­al­ity: "We've spent con­sid­er­able time de­vel­op­ing Os­car in-house rather than pur­chas­ing an off-theshelf bot more likely to spe­cialise in a smaller num­ber of top­ics and more chal­leng­ing to cus­tomise.”

Os­car was re­cently in­tro­duced to cus­tomers in Aus­tralia as well as to users of the air­line's mo­bile app and has now in­te­grated the tech­nol­ogy that pow­ers him with in-home dig­i­tal as­sis­tants like Google Home and Ama­zon Alexa. There are fur­ther plans for Os­car, in­clud­ing in­te­gra­tion with other chat plat­forms and ad­di­tional self-ser­vice func­tion­al­ity.

We’re look­ing at new tech­nolo­gies

to en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence we of­fer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.