Augmented Reality: modern showroom for passenger solutions

Virtual and augmented reality are opening up new ways of looking at the world in the aviation sector. Imaginary airport scenarios can now be explored actively and complex procedures are easier to grasp in 3D environments that are so realistic. VR and AR technologies enable us to experience aspects of many areas that are just not possible with any other medium.

Inspired by the new technological possibilities, Materna IPS together with the Materna subsidiary TMT implement individual customer projects and modern sales concepts based on virtual solutions. As specialists for virtual and augmented reality, service provider TMT develops simulation and training worlds for a range of sectors. These two areas of expertise within the Materna Group have already come together to create demos and individual solutions concepts in virtual reality for terminal enhancements at airports, for example for customers such as Lufthansa or Denver Airport. From prototyping through to staff training, VR is suitable for a wide variety of applications in the air travel industry. But augmented reality also opens up a whole new world of options, particularly for product presentations, marketing and maintenance.

The latest project being carried out by this internal Materna cooperation is an innovative augmented reality app which enables the complete portfolio of IPS passenger solutions to be positioned live on site at the customers. This means, for example, that the customer can see exactly how certain kiosk systems and self bag drop units can be set up in their terminal. They can also interact with the extended virtual environment and simulate the processes they want to install.

This extraordinary new tool which enables our staff around the world to present products from Materna IPS simply and realistically in the immediate environments at the potential site, sees Materna IPS revolutionizing their marketing approach. The AR app was first deployed at a large airport customer in North America in the context of a tender process and was received with much enthusiasm. Who doesn’t want to see a product working live before they decide to buy it? This new app makes the products tangible for the customer and can show how they can be adapted specifically to meet their needs. Materna IPS uses this modern marketing tool to get their customers interested – on site, directly at the airport, exactly where the systems for check-in, self bag drop or security checks are to be installed in future.

What can AR do for airports and airlines

In contrast to virtual reality, which allows the user to immerse themselves in a completely computer-generated world, augmented reality adds a virtual layer over the real environment. This even makes it possible to virtually position large awkwardly shaped products anywhere you want, to scale and in real time. As larger products don’t then need to be transported, and can practically be taken out of your briefcase, AR delivers excellent and cost-effective possibilities for presenting products in the B2B fields, and of course in the aviation sector.

Augmented reality is also used for maintenance, to give airport technicians helpful advice or instructions for regular checks on self service kiosks while they are actually on site. This is particularly helpful as it leaves both hands free to work on the kiosk while the app gets information about the different process steps that are needed.

AR and VR apps can be used on almost half of all the mobile end devices that are currently available without needing any additional hardware. This includes smartphones and tablets as well as mixed reality glasses or AR glasses such as Google Glass which promise even more mobility.