VIRGIN ATLANTIC IS trying out Sony's SmartWear wearable technology to assess its use as a real-time communications aid.
Sony, more used to negative press unrelated to its hardware, said that it is pleased with the opportunity.
Virgin Atlantic will take on Sony's SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, tablet, mobile phone - although this won't be the Xperia Z4 after it failed to appear at MWC - and SmartWatch 3 for an eight-week trial at Heathrow starting next week to save paper, and connect maintenance and engineering staff.
"We're delighted to be partnering with Sony to trial wearable technology with our engineering team," said Phil Maher, director of operations at Virgin Atlantic.
"We are proud of our recent innovation work to provide the best possible experience for our customer-facing roles, and we're pleased to be exploring how new technology can contribute towards our essential operations procedures.
"It's a great way to empower our people by providing instant access to the information they need to be more effective in their roles."
Virgin Atlantic explained that engineers usually trade information and work duty information through paper, and the use of a watch, tablet or smartphone would remove some of this load.
The airline called it an "innovative trial" that will "make a significant contribution to Virgin Atlantic's targets to reduce paper waste".
Sony said that it is keen to see its infant technology in the hands of such an established organisation, and is looking forward to seeing how it performs.
Dennis van Schie, senior VP for, sales and marketing, Sony Mobile Communications said was fittingly pleased.
"We're excited about this partnership with Virgin Atlantic, and exploring how Sony's SmartWear can enhance daily tasks and operations," he said.
"This innovative thinking in pushing the boundaries of how these products are used is a great example of what can be done with our SmartWear and we look forward to continuing to work with Virgin Atlantic on this trial and future initiatives."
Engineers will be able to get notifications on the SmartWatch 3 devices, and will be able to respond with information about the work being done.
The engineers' work can be supported by SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1 with photos and videos. µ
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