Virgin Atlantic staff don Google Glass

Jessica Morris, special to

Virgin Atlantic has launched a pilot scheme involving wearable technology that will see some of its staff wear Google Glass to speed up the check-in process.

In an effort to boost its Upper Class customer service, the British airline's concierge staff at London Heathrow will use a range of gadgets to start the check-in process as soon as passengers arrive at the airport.

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The staff will use wearable tech such a Google Glass to see things like flight information, access weather forecasts and find out about events at the passenger's destination.

If the six-week trial is successful, Virgin said it could be rolled out to other lounges and airports.

Ian Fogg, head of mobile analysis at IHS, said this application of wearable tech could work well.

"The screen is like a head up display above the main line of vision, so it's ideal for this kind of glanceable, quick-reference information," he told CNBC.

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However he said that Google Glass was so new it attracted an enormous amount of attention and so, "may actually slow down the process as passenger's will ask lots of questions because it's so new and novel."

Google Glass is still in the development stage and current owners – or "explorers" - paid $1,500 each to own a pair, and agreed to be part of the testing process.

Dave Bulman, director of IT at Virgin Atlantic said its adoption of Google Glass and other wearable tech would improve the customer experience.

"We continue to look ahead and research innovations that customers might only dream of today. The whole industry needs to listen to what these passengers are calling for, and keep innovating to bring a return to the golden age of air travel," he said in a statement.

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