The hologram, whose name is Paige, “is a life-size, 3-D, surround-sound hologram that welcomes travelers to the airport’s international terminal,” according to a new article from the Washington Examiner. She (it?) was developed by “global queue solutions” firm Tensator and is there to help travelers get through customs, which is apparently a trouble spot for the airport.
The current hologram is not interactive, but the next version of the hologram – which is currently being developed – will be interactive and able to answer travelers’ questions, the article said.
So for now, it’s like a sign, but much more futuristic. The Examiner article quotes a Tensator spokeswoman as saying, “The time has come for this technology. Folks are focused on their smartphones, checking email — they’re doing all these things with their heads down, so it’s almost necessary to have this next-gen signage.”
As the first airport hologram, Paige might seem like a futuristic step forward for Dulles. However, it turns out we’re behind the curve. According to the article, “‘virtual assistants’ like Paige are already at work in airports in London, Frankfurt, Germany, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.” And while Paige is the first hologram in an American airport, there’s already a hologram greeter in the flagship Duane Reade store in New York City. (Although, the United Kingdom has already one-upped us there too. Apparently their Walmart stores have hologram greeters.)
If this three month trial period at Dulles goes well, Paige could become a permanent feature. Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey and LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports in New York.
Here is the video from the Examiner:
[Image via Marc_Smith on Flickr]