UK airports employ hologram 'virtual staff' to speed up security

Simone Kane

If you passed through Manchester or Luton airports this week, you could be forgiven for thinking you were seeing things.

Simultaneously claiming a 'world first', both UK airports have introduced two hologram staff to help passengers through the security area in the hope that it will simplify and speed up the procedure.

At Luton, Virtual Assistants 'Holly' and 'Graham' are being trialled for four to eight weeks. Their roles include making security announcements and briefing passengers on how to prepare themselves for the security search.

Meanwhile in Manchester and Julie (pictured above) and John – created from actual recordings of customer service staff John Walsh and Julie Capper – will greet passengers as they approach the security area and explain the liquid restrictions and issue reminders about having boarding cards ready.

Liquid restrictions were introduced four years ago and are still one of the main areas of confusion for air travel passengers.

Apparently, 'real' staff at both airports watched in amusement as passengers tried to interact with the holograms by asking them questions.

Holly and Graham were designed by global leaders in queue management and digital signage solutions Tensator.

John and Julie, on the other hand, have a slightly more glamorous background and were 'cloned' in conjunction with Musion, which has been using its cutting-edge technology in the music industry for some time, most recently on the Black Eyed Peas' latest single.

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Have you seen the new hologram airport staff? Let us know what you think.