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Delta's futuristic new airport screen can show personalized flight info to multiple people at once — here's how it works

·3 min read
Delta and Parallel Reality's personalized flight info board at the Detroit Airport
Delta and Parallel Reality's personalized flight info board at the Detroit AirportParallel Reality/Delta
  • A futuristic new screen can show dozens of travelers their flight individual information at once.

  • Called Parallel Reality, the screen can display personalized information to 100 people simultaneously.

  • Delta is testing the screen in Detroit's airport.

It's time to ditch the crumpled boarding passes and stop staring at thousands of flights on a board, because Delta just science-fictionalized the airport experience.

Through a partnership with California-based startup Misapplied Sciences, the airline has installed a flight information board in the Detroit airport that uses futuristic tech to simultaneously show several travelers personalized information about their flight.

While staring at the same screen — dubbed "Parallel Reality" — up to 100 people can see something entirely different. The screen shows each passenger their gate number, departure time, and even which direction to walk and how long it will take to get there. Here's how it works.

Passengers must 'opt-in' at a kiosk to use the screen

A "Parallel Reality Experience" kiosk is shown at the Detroit airport.
To utilize the screen, passengers have to opt-in to the experience at a kiosk outside of security.Delta

After making it through security, passengers will run into the "Parallel Reality Experience" kiosk, where they can either choose to opt-in to view the screen, or keep walking.

To quell privacy concerns, the screen won't work for passengers who don't choose to partake in the experience, Albert Ng, CEO of Misapplied Sciences, told Insider.

"We are not ambiently detecting who you are as you're walking through the airport," he said.

People who skip the Parallel Reality screen will just see a nondescript board; None of their personal information will be displayed, nor will they be able to see anyone else's.

Passengers can use a boarding pass or a face scan to start

A man uses facial-recognition technology to register to use the Parallel Reality screen.
The screen will only show your information if you opt-in using a boarding pass or facial scan.Delta

Passengers can try it out either by scanning their boarding pass or using Delta's digital ID facial-recognition system.

"A relationship is created between your identity and your position, so that the motion camera follows your shape," Greg Forbes, Delta's managing director of airport experience, told Insider. "That's what tells the display which direction to aim your information. As you move through the viewing space, your location is tracked, and your message follows you."

How does it actually work?

A woman looks at the Parallel Reality board in Detroit's airport, which shows her flight information.
Each person looking at the Parallel Reality board will see their own flight information.Delta

Each pixel in the screen can send different colors of light in tens of thousands of directions — so while one person perceives one color, the person next to them can see another, the company says.

The technology only works in a viewing area in front of the screen, so as soon as a passenger leaves the area, their information is deleted, Forbes said. If you wanted to do it again, you'd have to go back to the kiosk and start from the beginning.

Right now, the screen is only available in Detroit's airport. But both Forbes and Ng said they envision a number of different uses for it, from Sky Club lounges to places beyond the airport, like stadiums or other entertainment venues.

"It's simply the tip of the iceberg," Ng said. "It's a glimpse into what the future could look like."

This post has been updated to clarify that facial-recognition technology is used only by the kiosk to check people in.

Read the original article on Business Insider