As the possible 2022 launch of Apple’s AR glasses draws nearer, enterprises continue to explore real-world uses for augmented reality, evolving new deployments at a relatively swift pace.

The in-flight Apple enterprise

Delta Airlines this week dropped the biggest hint of this when it announced deployment of 19,000 iPhone 12s for its in-flight staff. The airline shared some of the ways in which it expects to make use of these devices, particularly in training and catering.

In short: Delta plans to use iPhones to offer immersive training experiences to staffers, featuring video, photos, and AR. Specifically, it plans to use AR to help cabin staff quickly locate where items are stowed – useful for hand luggage but even more useful when attempting to locate a flight’s worth of desserts for the meal.

I can already imagine how this might work. It’s also easy to imagine AR overlays on phones or other connected devices (including glasses) being of use when checking in-flight passenger manifests and identifying those passengers who need additional attention or special meals during the flight.

Existing passenger manifests carry a good deal of detail concerning passengers, so rendering this information more actionable will improve in-flight efficiency. At least, that’s what Delta seems to believe.

“As more companies move aggressively to leverage augmented reality to drive increased process efficiency, leverage remote workers, and facilitate faster knowledge capture and transfer, the role of the AR platform has become increasingly important,” said IDC’s Tom Mainelli. “Companies want a platform that brings together multiple capabilities that also ensures data remains secure.”

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