Manchester Airport employs holograms

Manchester airport holograms

Manchester Airport has introduced holograms of current workers in a bid to improve security.

The technology, which has been used to animate Damon Albarn-led pop group Gorillaz, has produced some "eye-catching" holograms of customer service staff members John Walsh and Julie Capper.

The holograms, who started working today, have been introduced to explain liquid restrictions and remind travellers to have their boarding cards ready.

Developed in conjunction with hologram specialists Musion, the technology includes a specially designed surface, onto which images of the staff are projected.

According to Manchester Airport, the reproduction of high definition video is of such high quality that the holograms look like real people.

Musion founder James Rock said his company had created the technology for many uses, hinting businesses outside of transport and entertainment could use holograms to aid their operations.

"I think there are huge gaps in the market for retail," Rock told IT PRO.

"I'm very confident we'll be in all kinds of places with this," he added.

He revealed his company will be doing some "basic marketing" to take the company forward at this early stage of Musion's life.

The real John Walsh said liquid restrictions are still misunderstood by many passengers and much time is spent reminding them what the limits are.

"That can slow the process down for everyone and that's something we want to find a solution to," Walsh added.

"If you look at the entrance to most security areas in airports, a lot of space is set aside for information relating to the current restrictions."

"If our holograms help our passengers through the security process even quicker then it will be a good thing. I have to say it's strange to see yourself in virtual form and I'm hoping that I'll be able to rely on my virtual self to carry some of my workload," said fellow customer services staff member Julie Capper.

"I wonder if I can send it to meetings in my place and whether anyone will notice."

Other airports are currently looking to deploying their own holograms, the Manchester facility said.

Last year, a team of researchers said they had created new holographic technology that could project a near 3D image to another location, capable of updating every two seconds.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.