Manchester Airport Holographic Security Trials

Manchester Airport, 1938-98 (Sutton's Photographic History of Aviation)
Manchester Airport in the UK has unveiled the world’s first holographic, customer service-based security technology.

While making its airport debut, the same technology is well-known within other industries, such as entertainment.

As of 31 January 2011, Manchester Airport now has a pair of holographic customer services staff that brief passengers on security procedures, as they prepare to pass through airport security.

The new additions to Manchester Airport’s security network give passengers information on current airport liquid restrictions and ensure that their boarding cards are ready to be deployed.

Holographic Security Trials

Airport liquid restrictions have been enforced from 2006 onwards, as a result of a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. The recentMoscow Airport explosion incident has, once again, brought the issue of airport security back into the public eye, and these holographic security trials are a new concept that’s now being tested.

Both holograms are modelled on real-life staff working at the site – namely Julie Capper and John Walsh – and both are now active in Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1. The holograms are a product of entertainment organisation Musion and, said James Rock – the founder of the company – they have a variety of applications.

“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”, Rock was quoted as having said in a Manchester Airport press release issued at the end of January.

“It’s something we’ve worked on for a number of years at Musion and we’d like to see its widespread use for practical purposes, like the virtual assistants”, Rock added.

Manchester Airport Security Holograms

The Manchester Airport security holograms represent the latest innovation to be introduced at the UK’s fourth-busiest airport (based on 2010 passenger statistics).

In November 2010, biometric airport passenger eye scan trialswere carried out while, at the end of 2009, Manchester Airport was the first in the country to host full-body image scanners.

As with these two technologies, these holograms are being trialled in the first instance.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve the experience of our airport for customers”, Manchester Airport’s Customer Services Director, Julie Armstrong, added in the same press release.

“But four years after the restrictions were introduced, passengers understandably forget about liquids. We don’t want anyone to have to throw their drink or make up away so we’ve tried lots of different ways to reinforce the liquid rules, from posters to people dressed up as giant deodorant cans! 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.”