Wed, May 23, 2012
Eat your heart out, Tupac.
Starting in early July, the Port Authority will put holograms to work in LaGuardia, Newark and JFK airports.
The move is an effort to ramp up the Port Authority’s customer care program during the busy summer travel season.
An airport in France has been using holograms to help travelers for nearly a year. But these will be the first in North America.
The computerized, hologram-like avatars will provide helpful automated information to travelers in LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, Newark Liberty’s Terminal B and JFK’s Terminal 5.
The avatars are not interactive, but Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye hopes a future version will be able to hold conversations with passengers.
So what’s the price tag on one of these things?
A cool $250,000 each.
But instead of buying them outright, the Port Authority rent five units for six months. The total price of the rental will be about $180,000, or $36,000 each.
Which seems a bit steep to me for a human-shaped billboard spouting prerecorded info about shuttle buses and restrooms to anyone who walks by.
If you’re wondering what this thing’s going to look like, here’s a fairly disappointing video of the hologram in action.