Delta Air Lines Parallel Reality Future
Last month I picked the Parallel Reality™️ Display Airport Future experience by Delta and MisApplied Sciences as my best-in-show during #CES2020. A new technology that has the potential to improve the airport experience for travellers around the globe.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian kicked off the Tech event on day one in Las Vegas proving every company, no matter what your trade, is now a Tech company. He was joined on stage by Nicole Jones and Albert Ng.
Nicole is Director of Innovation at The Hanger a Delta team dedicated to research, design, and technology to explore ideas that enable effortless travel.
Albert is CEO of MisApplied Sciences, the start-up company who created the Parallel Reality™️ Display.
The Technology Behind the Experience
Unlike most Virtual or Augmented reality experiences, with Parallel the user doesn’t need to have a headset or special equipment. The technology is built into the airport infrastructure, or even other transit hubs, and delivers a personalised travel experience.
I was able to test the experience during CES, and it blew me away with how much potential it has and just how close it is to being rolled out!
To make the experience work there are two very clever pieces of technology that combine to make it happen.
A series of connected ceiling-mounted cameras and a new type of screen by Misapplied Sciences called a Parallel Reality™️ Display.
Parallel Reality™️ Displays
The display works by harnessing a new pixel technology that not only can emit millions of light rays at any one time but with the use of some very clever software, direct them to individual people simultaneously.
I was unable to get in-depth information on the cameras being used other that each one could track thousands of people at any one time.
I would guess that there must be sensors (in the cameras or displays) that provide space awareness to the software so only your data is visible to you for the position you are at in relation to the display.
However it does it though, it does so very well!
The Airport Experience
As you enter an airport with this new technology the first thing you must do is scan your boarding pass.
A camera above the scanner captures you as a data point. From here on in, just picture yourself as a pixel moving around an old 80’s Atari computer game!
Each camera tracks you and hands you on to the next one, as you make your way through the terminal. You, the pixel, are handled as a packet of data moving around the airport.
With the cameras knowing your exact location, along with the data scanned from the QR code on your Delta boarding pass, each Parallel Reality™️ Display will then show information only relevant to you as you pass by them!
Seeing is Believing
To demonstrate how this works, Delta set up 12 mirrors as ‘data points’ instead of people.
This one screen above at the time of taking this photo was showing 12 completely different images at that moment. As you can just make out I was stood by the Seoul data point when I took the above photo.
Then, I moved in front of the display to see all the mirrors opposite it reflecting the different screens back at me.
In reality, this would be 12 people in an airport terminal stood next to each other, all getting their own personal information.
Possibilities are endless
Delta could tailor the experience even further.
Before departure, a short questionnaire about what you intend on doing at the airport could be filled in. Maybe you need to shop for something specific or wish to eat at a certain restaurant. You could want to head straight to a lounge to get some work done.
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The more information contained within your data point, the more tailored the displays can be. Not just in the travel displays but ones in the terminal shops too.
Solving Real-World Problems
Say you need to take a long-haul flight that has a connection in a foreign country. Often, this can cause a bit of stress if you don’t speak the local language or the signs are not too clear.
With an airport equipped with Misapplied Sciences Parallel Reality™️ Displays, you would just scan your boarding pass once out of the airbridge and every sign you see will be in your own language and contain everything you need to know about your connection.
The displays will help you navigate the airport, get you to the correct gate or even give you a tour of the terminal if you wanted a bit of exercise and had time to spare.
Did Parallel Reality Work?
Let’s be clear this is still very much in a beta phase, but Delta is planning on a “real world” test in 2020. I was told it was version 2 that I was shown.
At CES, Delta had built up a mock terminal, gave me a boarding pass to Tokyo and sent me on a Parallel Reality experience along with 3 others.
That first time you realise the same display you and the person next to you are looking at is showing you both completely different things is impressive.
As a group, we tried to trick the system by standing very close together and the data just scrambled.
At no point did any of us see another person’s data. We stood side by side, or as close as you would at a busy airport hub, and we each had our own personal display.
As I moved through the mock terminal I was tracked by the overhead cameras and chose a random point in which to stop. Sure enough, looking up at the screen and my boarding details to Tokyo were there for me.
The lady, not 2 feet in front of me was telling me her flight to Paris was ready for boarding.
When Will it be Ready?
This technology may seem a bit far fetched but the future is here and Delta plan to test a series of the Parallel Reality™️ Display at Detroit airport this summer.
It will be a limited trial with around 100 passengers on the grid at any one time. I was informed this will be an airport sign up on the day of travel.
How Will it Shape the Future of Travel?
I was so, so impressed with this technology and the potential it could bring to travellers.
Expand it out beyond the airport to taxi queues, the train network from the terminal and even in hotels.
Join the Conversation
Would you like to see the future of air travel powered by a Delta & MisApplied Sciences Parallel Reality™️ Display?
Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter.
To learn more, visit misappliedsciences.com.