Air New Zealand releases its latest piece of tech: a spatial computing travel experience for Magic Leap One

Air New Zealand is renown not just for its whimsical safety videos, but for its explorative avenues to enhance customer experience through technology. Its customer innovation programme has seen a variety of tech solutions to customer pain points, from wearable tech wristbands for children travelling by themselves, to Sophie, its first digital assistant engineered by local Artificial Intelligence company Soul Machines. And today, the airline extended its line of technology stunts, releasing an initial-concept multiplayer spatial computing gaming experience.

The game was launched in Los Angeles at the first L.E.A.P. conference, hosted by US-based spatial computing company Magic Leap.

Magic Leap’s technology layers digital objects onto the real world so that light enters the eye as it would with a real object. Magic Leap One Creator Edition is a lightweight, wearable computer that enables digital content to step out of the screen and into the real world.

For more than 18 months, Air New Zealand has worked with global creative studio Framestore to develop the New Zealand themed spatial computing board game which immerses players in key tourism experiences.

The game, Air New Zealand Fact or Fantasy Game of New Zealand, sees players wear Magic Leap One to view a physical 3D map of New Zealand and they are transported to an augmented world where they witness a giant Kauri tree grow, meet a grumpy Hobbit, get splashed by a breaching whale, and have a bird’s eye view of a helicopter bungy jump. Players answer quiz questions to compete for golden eggs.

The airline’s general manager of global brand and content marketing, Jodi Williams, says the airline views its partnership with Magic Leap as an important step towards understanding the part spatial computing could play in the future customer experience both on the ground or in the air.

“By getting in early and being both a developer and creator we have been able to test and learn, creating an incredible platform from which to explore the potential of this technology as part of our Future Aircraft Cabin Experience programme including concepts such as being able to reframe customers’ perceptions of the physical cabin environment.

This first concept stemmed from the idea of getting together to play a board game when travelling with family and friends. From this creative inspiration, we developed a multiplayer game where up to four players are immersed in a mixed reality world that brings New Zealand to life to both inspire and educate travellers.”

Framestore CEO Sir William Sargent says: “We are storytellers at Framestore, first and foremost; innovation courses in our veins. The promise of mixed reality excites us enormously, and we are delighted that this project with Air New Zealand and Magic Leap provides us with the chance to show the world the extraordinary potential of this new medium, as we experiment with new ways to share narratives.”

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