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Glasgow Airport trials AI and Augmented Reality accessibility tech

Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place leadership, has announced a set of accessibility technology trials in collaboration with Glasgow Airport.

Image courtesy Glasgow Airport

The trials are being carried out in March as part of the Connected Airport Living Lab programme.

Glasgow Airport has one of the highest percentages of ‘people with disabilities and reduced mobility’ (PRM) passengers of any UK airport. Last year it welcomed more than 110,000 PRM passengers and received the Civil Aviation Authority’s highest ‘Very Good’ rating in their Annual Accessibility Report.

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Now a group of innovators will join the Airport’s accessibility team, user research specialists from Connected Places Catapult, and inclusive research agency Open Inclusion in the terminal to run a series of live trials over two days. They will capture participants’ interactions with the technologies and gather feedback as to how users respond. Ultimately the aim is to generate insights that will aid the development of the solutions and help set these businesses up for future success.

The companies invited to trial their tech are:

  • Gazooky Studios - ChapARone is an instant messaging service using AI and Augmented Reality to aid disabled passengers. The system allows transport hubs to upload information and direct it to a network of accessible-QR coded info-points.
  • Hello Lamp Post - Powering AI digital assistants for any public place, accessible via location-specific QR codes, enabling 24/7 communication and assistance. This technology streamlines passenger support, airport navigation, and wayfinding information to enhance passenger experiences.
  • Signapse - Providing automatic sign language announcements using the latest AI techniques. Available in both British and American Sign Language, the technology provides accessibility to Deaf passengers in public spaces.
  • Signly - Providing sign language translations in British, American, Irish, and German Sign Language that are already recorded, making websites or airport information more accessible on smartphones through QR codes, and helping passengers who use sign language access information better.

Paul Wilson, Chief Business Officer at Connected Places Catapult, said: “As technology develops, we have the opportunity to make journeys easier for all passengers, including those with accessibility requirements.

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“But developing inclusive technologies in highly-regulated transport settings, such as airports, can be hard - especially for small businesses. By working alongside Glasgow Airport through the Connected Airport Living Lab, we are able to reduce the burden on individual businesses and provide them with the opportunity to test and learn in a live environment.”

Ronald Leitch, Interim Chief Operating Officer at AGS Airports, which owns Glasgow Airport, said: “We are incredibly proud of the service we provide to the tens of thousands of special assistance passengers who travel through our terminals each year.

“The technological advancements we’re seeing today in areas such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality could play a key role in how we improve these vital services and further enhance the customer experience.  

“Air travel should rightly be for everyone and thankfully more and more people who need additional support are choosing to fly. The technologies being demonstrated during these trials will hopefully enable and embolden even more special assistance passengers to travel.”

To find out more about special assistance at Glasgow Airport: www.glasgowairport.com/special-assistance
 

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