December; the month of new gadget gifts! Well last month, Glasgow Airport unveiled a little gadget of their own. The airport presented its newest worker amongst the crew; GLAdys, a 4-foot tall, state of the art robot, fit with 3 main entertainment functions, built to communicate with passengers in the main terminals over the month of December.
If you’re wondering about the name, GLAdys derives from Glasgow Airport’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) code ‘GLA’ and it has been given the title of Britain’s first “humanoid robot airport ambassador.”
Dressed as Father Christmas for the festive month, GLAdys was able to engage in basic functions such as “sing and dance”, waving its head, arms and upper body about to various Christmas songs which it can also play. The robot was also able to recite 3 festive Christmas stories.
However, arguably the best feature, seeing as we are in the age of the “selfie”, is the GLAdy’s ability to take pictures with passengers who can then receive the image via email or printed out have shared on the airport’s social media channels.
Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said “We are always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can further enhance customer experience at Glasgow and believe the introduction of GLAdys to be a first for a UK airport”GLAdys was created as part of a push from the airport’s Digital Passenger Experience Project, which looks to investigate how customer engagement and communication can be facilitated through the use of upcoming technology.
“Last year we launched our virtual assistant, affectionately dubbed ‘Holly the Hologram’, at various points across the airport and she has since proved extremely popular with our passengers.
“GLAdys will be a fantastic addition to the terminal team and will prove to be an extremely popular feature with passengers commuting through the airport,” Mark Johnston added.
It will be interesting to see how technology will influence interaction in the future!