AR Smart Glasses Speed Up Airport Operations

Singapore airport uses AR smart glasses technology for ramp operations.

There has been increased interest in the use of augmented reality (AR) for business and enterprise use, as seen with the Vuzix smart glasses and the re-launch of Google Glass. In Singapore, a busy airport has taken advantage of this technology for its ramp handling operations.

Changi Airport is on track to set new records for passenger numbers as it continues to grow. To aid its workers, the airport is equipping ramp operations staff with AR smart glasses, which can provide them with informations such as loading instructions for special cargo. Visual markers similar to QR codes on baggage and cargo containers can provide details such as weight, unit number and loading sequence – vital information for balancing a plane’s weight distribution.

Approximately 600 staff are currently undergoing training in the new AR technology, and airport administrators SATS are hoping to roll the AR smart glasses out to its staff in phases, will full implementation expected to be complete by the middle of 2018.

Mr Alex Hungate, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS, said to Today Online: “By introducing AR to our ground handling operations, we are improving services for airlines, passengers and airfreight shippers,” noting that the move can shorten loading time by as much as 15 minutes. This would create competitive advantages for airlines, as waiting times for passengers and airfreight shippers are shortened, he added, “With (global) passenger demand forecast to double by 2035 to 7.2 billion air travellers, we are preparing to handle more passengers, aircraft and airfreight. SATS is embracing technology to handle these volume increases in an innovative, sustainable way,” he said.

VRFocus will continue to report on new and innovative uses of AR and VR technology

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