Digital Avatar Named ‘Marie’ Is NYC Airports Newest Employee
The automated image helps passengers find the taxi line and get to baggage claim, repeating a 90 second script whenever anyone comes within 30 feet of her.
La Guardia Airport has ‘hired’ a digital avatar to greet new arrivals and help passengers find the taxi line and get to baggage claim. ‘Marie’ is a life-size image of a woman projected onto a glass screen coated with special film. She has a 90-second script, which she repeats whenever anyone comes within 30 feet of her.
The avatar is meant to support the customer care representatives, easing their workload by providing basic airport information. Some fear she could lead to a more automated airport experience, while others believe they will always need human staff to handle customers’ questions and complaints, etc.
An identical avatar called ‘Libby’ was unveiled at Newark Liberty International Airport and another called ‘Sarah’ appeared at Kennedy Airport, each costing $60,000. Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are going to gauge the public response over the next few months to decide whether more avatars will be installed.