Tech and the City

Holographic Customer Service Reps Will Bring a Bit of Star Wars to NYC Airports

These are the droids you're looking for.
 Holographic Customer Service Reps Will Bring a Bit of <em>Star Wars</em> to NYC Airports

No word yet on whether R2D2 will be needed in order for the holograms to function. (digitaltrends.com)

If you thought the buzzy Tupac hologram was awesome, wait until you hear what the Port Authority plans to spend its money on: Starting this summer, three holographic customer service reps will begin work at JFK, Laguardia and Newark, supplementing the flesh-and-blood reps that are often overwhelmed by the magnitude of travelers that visit New York during the summer.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

She smiles, answers questions and can guide you to the nearest rest room or to your connecting flight. But don’t try and shake her hand. That’s because “she” is an avatar, the latest high-tech venture at New York’s three major airports. [Laguardia and Newark], along with JFK Airport, will be the first airports in North America to get an avatar this summer.

The devices apparently cost about $250,000 each, but the Journal says the Port Authority is spending $180,000 to rent them for six months.

In our experience, we’ve come to expect a certain level of disdain from our JFK customer service reps. We only hope this hologram can also pretend not to hear you, and accurately portray that “fuck off” facial expression we’ve come to know and love.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com