Imagine that you, let’s say your name is Chris, just arriving at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and you have no baggage to check, so you plan to go straight to the TSA security checkpoint. But you want to know what gate to go to, so you go up to the Departures display. Instead of searching for your particular flight from the dozens displayed, it says, clear as day, “Welcome, Chris. Your flight to JFK will depart from Gate 12.” The person next to you sees the same screen at the same time as “Welcome, Taylor. Your flight to LAX will depart from Gate 37.” And the person behind THEM sees the same screen with the display of, “Welcome, Alex. Your flight to MIA will depart from Gate 63.”
Or you’ve just landed at your destination and don’t know where your luggage will be. All at the same time, a display will welcome you, Chris, to New York City and you can pick up your luggage at baggage carousel 7. Harper, the person next to you, who just flew in from MCO will find their luggage at carousel 18, according to the same sign at the same time. And Riley, who just flew in from ORD, is told by the very same screen, at the very same time, that their luggage will be found at baggage carousel 32.
What is this sorcery? Oh, just some mind-blowing technology that allows multiple customers to each see personalized flight information tailored to their unique trip on a single, shared digital screen. The goal is to simplify their journey through the airport.
Delta Air Lines, who has partnered with Misapplied Sciences, is launching the first-ever PARALLEL REALITY™ beta experience for customers at DTW, beginning June 29.
The technology first debuted at CES in 2020. It allows up to 100 customers at a time to see personalized content tailored to their unique journey on a single digital screen. Customers who opt in to the experience will see customized flight and wayfinding information. Each viewer will get their own unique and personalized experience, even if they’re standing among dozens of other viewers who are also each enjoying their own uniquely personalized experiences.
The new technology will be available at DTW’s Concourse A of the McNamara Terminal, just past the security checkpoint. Initially being offered as a beta program, customers will be able to use the technology to help their airport experience, then share their input directly with Delta.
Most modern display makers pride themselves on the expansive viewing angles of their TVs or computer monitors, ensuring that even people viewing the screen from the sides see exactly the same thing in terms of color and contrast as someone parked front and center. Misapplied Sciences has instead created a display technology it calls Parallel Reality that can completely customize what’s seen on-screen depending on the angle from which it’s being viewed.
The company’s website vaguely describes how the Parallel Reality technology works (it’s understandable that Misapplied Sciences isn’t keen on revealing exactly how its tech works) by using a combination of software-controlled pixels that can “simultaneously project up to millions of light rays of different colors and brightness” targeted in specific directions, and some heavy processing power to track and target multiple viewers—up to 100 at the same time.
And how are they doing it? From a form of facial recognition. For those who participate in the beta program, a camera will recognize the customer to customize their information for an even richer experience.
For the PARALLEL REALITY experience at DTW, an overhead sensor detects the presence and location of viewers, using anonymous non-biometric object detection – the sensor sees people as objects without recognizable features. When a viewer opts into the experience at the registration counter by scanning a boarding pass, or their digital identity, a private viewing zone is created at the viewer’s location, and the display directs relevant flight information to that zone. As the viewer moves around, the non-biometric overhead sensor continually shifts their private zone to their new location. This allows the viewer to see their own personalized content even as they move.
Are you going to be at DTW in the not-too-distant future and want to give it a try? Here’s how Delta says you can experience the exhibit:
- After moving through security at Detroit, customers will see the PARALLEL REALITY display near the Delta Sky Club (Concourse A, McNamara Terminal).
- To initiate the experience:
- All customers are welcome to interact with the experience. Ticketed passengers can simply scan their boarding pass.
- Customers enrolled in digital identity through the Fly Delta App can activate facial recognition at the exhibit kiosk.
- Leveraging multi-view pixels and proprietary technology, the PARALLEL REALITY experience enables each customer to see personalized, in-language messages – tailored just to them – as they walk past the digital screen.
- Tailored messages include personalized wayfinding, flight information or updates to boarding time.
- This experience will always be opt-in, and customer information is not stored.
Facial recognition is really starting to be a part of the mainstream, isn’t it? How do you feel about that?
Feature Photo: Delta
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