Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) is making it easier for its passengers to travel by employing an incredibly practical new augmented reality feature included an update to its iOS app.
Now, iPhone and iPad users can place a translucent virtual suitcase over their own real world luggage to confirm that it's within the carry-on dimensions for their airplane. The experience is made possible via ARKit.
Ebay launched a similar AR feature earlier this year that helped customers determine the right size shipping box for sold merchandise. However, that AR feature is exclusive to the Android app via ARCore.
"By harnessing the potential of AR, KLM is taking the next step in terms of digital service provision," said Pieter Groeneveld, senior vice president of Digital Air France - KLM, in a statement. "With the AR hand baggage check, passengers can now see at a glance whether their hand baggage is the correct size. By offering this service, we are placing the needs of our customers first. We also continue to be pioneers of innovation in our passengers' best interests."
In addition, the KLM Houses app for iOS has also received an AR upgrade with a collection of virtual model airplanes that can be viewed in the real world. (KLM gives its passengers collectible miniature houses with each flight. The KLM Houses app enables them to catalog their collections.)
Airlines have been somewhat slower to adopt augmented reality on the consumer-facing side compared to other industries, but several use cases have surfaced. Airbus recently updated its mobile app with an in-flight AR view that identifies landmarks below, and American Airlines has developed a prototype ARKit app, which Apple highlighted on its website, that helps passengers navigate airports by showing the path to their departure gate in augmented reality.
As someone who rarely flies, I welcome anything that makes it easier to fly. Figuring out if my luggage qualifies for carry-on status is one of those stressors I detest, so I'm personally glad that AR is relieving at least this one burden from flying.