Airport Introduces Security Holograms

Posted Jan 31st 2011 10:10 AMUpdated Jan 31st 2011 06:45 PM


John and Julie are the newest members of the security staff at Manchester Airport, the largest regional airport in the U.K., but they are not human. They are holograms.

The airport today became the first in the world to use talking holograms as part of its passenger security screening for airplanes. The idea is to cut down traffic in security lines.

John and Julie – virtual versions of two actual customer service employees at the airport, John Walsh and Julie Capper – greet passengers at security at the airport's Terminal 1, explain liquids restrictions and advise travelers to have their boarding passes ready.

Airport officials say the idea of using the cutting edge technology came from the music industry, including the animated band Gorillaz.

The virtual airport employees were created in conjunction with Musion, a company that also recently worked with The Black Eyed Peas.

"We've developed this technology for many uses but it's perfectly suited for an airport environment where the support of recorded messages can help with passenger information," says Musion founder James Rock.

The holograms use a special surface designed to "retain maximum transparency and strength" and high quality high definition video.

Some passengers at Manchester Airport have already been fooled, spotted trying to hand their passports to the holograms, officials said.

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Julie Armstrong, the customer services director at Manchester Airport, says the airport has tried for years to get the message across that you can't bring large containers of liquids on planes and hopes the holograms will help.

"We don't want anyone to have to throw their drink or makeup away so we've tried lots of different ways to reinforce the liquid rules, from posters to people dressed up as giant deodorant cans," Armstrong says. "Maybe holograms are the answer? You certainly can't miss them and with the real John and Julie already being popular with our customers, I'm hopeful that their virtual selves will be a big hit too."

For her part, Capper says having a hologram of herself is strange, but if it helps make security lines quicker "it will be a good thing."

Other airports in the UK are looking into similar installations.

Photos, Manchester Airport
Filed Under: News

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This is SOOOOO cool! All Disney needs now is to get those for the parks and you have DHI's! Check it out:
It's the best series ever for Disney fans, any age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 04 2011 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to angelface13's comment

Hahahaha...The first thing I thought of when I read this was the first book in that series. Technology is amazing!

February 13 2011 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it is great replace all of the security and TSA screeners with a hologram! Will save money, will keep hands out of your pants. Thinks would go much smoother. Rocky Flats Gear USA mfg of x-ray protective undergarments. Happy landings

February 01 2011 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beth McClelland

I think it would be so cool to have them!! Even if they don't help with anything!!

February 01 2011 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I noticed that one person paused briefly to look at the hologram, but ALL the others just walked by without a look. How useful is that?

February 01 2011 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply