Heathrow Airport Introduces AR Technology

AR app featuring children's book characters Mr Men and Little Miss launched at Heathrow Airport.

Two other UK airports have already embraced augmented reality (AR) technology, with Gatwick using AR to help passengers navigate the complex layout of the airport, while London City Airport is installing AR tech to help air traffic controllers with the vital job of keeping planes safe. Now the UK’s biggest airport is also introducing AR technology, this one aimed at children.

Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest in the world, and can be a bewildering experience for children, some of whom may never have visited an airport before. Heathrow have been working with a company called Ads Reality to create an AR app aimed at children that can entertain and distract them while the process of checking in and waiting for a flight goes on. The technology has an additional benefit for Heathrow staff in that it also tracks footfall through the five terminals.

The AR app is titled Around the World with Mr. Adventure and uses smartphone cameras to scan ‘digital badges’ that have been hidden throughout the terminal buildings. When one of the badges is found, an animation featuring one of the world famous Mr Men and Little Miss characters will appear.

“This is a fun and interactive experience that we’re rolling out with Heathrow and a chance for the airport to drive engagement and fun for passengers,” said Richard Corps, MD & co-founder of Ads Reality. “We’re delighted that Heathrow sees the benefits of augmented reality to the customers they serve, and it’s a great example of a large company looking at innovative technology to drive an exciting customer experience.”

Heathrow will also be using the technology to track how many markers are triggered, to gather data on which terminal has the most interactions, in order to check on passenger footfall and use the data to improve the customer experience for people using the airport.

VRFocus will continue to bring you news on new uses of AR and VR technology.

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