At CES two years back, Delta Air Lines showcased a ground-breaking technology called “Parallel Reality.” The technology allowed up to 100 travelers to simultaneously look at content personalized to their individual journey on a single digital screen. Basically, allowing each passenger to look at their itineraries on a single display at the same time, making the entire flight boarding experience unique – like in the Minority Report scene of Tom Cruise, where he passes through the mall while seeing adverts/information personalized to him.
Now, finally, after two years, the technology will go live to the public on June 29 at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the US. But it will still be in beta, as the company will collect feedback to understand the technology’s efficacy in the real world.
In case you haven’t heard about this technology before and don’t know what it will mean to you, here’s what you need to know right now.
What’s Parallel Reality Technology?
Parallel Reality or Parallel Reality display technology was developed by Delta Air Lines in collaboration with Misapplied Sciences. It is a patented technology that was first showcased at CES 2020.
The technology uses parallel reality pixels (its own trademarked name). A single parallel reality pixel can simultaneously output up to millions of controllable rays of different colors and brightness as opposed to a conventional pixel that can only output a single color at any moment. With these multiple rays of different colors and brightness, a screen can showcase different content to different people from different angles.
Just to make things clearer, a traveler, for example in an Airport can scan his ticket, and as he walks by the area where the Parallel Reality display is placed, he will be able to see content based on his ticket. Now if a person holds a ticket to India, he will see the timings and details of his flight that will go to India. Also, he may see content in Hindi, since it’s the widely spoken language in India.
For this to work, you do not need glasses or any HiFi tech, rather naked eyes can experience this technology. At the CES demo, users were told to stand in front of different statues popular in a specific country. So, a person standing near the Eiffel tower statue was able to see details of Paris, food, and his flight boarding times. Similarly, all passengers standing in front of different statues representing different countries were able to see the different information based on the statue. But that’s just how it was demoed at the CES event. The technology has wider use cases.
Use cases of the technology
The technology has its use case across different areas. The screen can be used for purposes like advertising, entertainment, marketing, and others on places like streets, malls, and airports. That being said, the popular mall scene from the Minority Report movie starring Tom Cruise is finally coming in to picture. But definitely, slightly tweaked.
However, it is worth noting that, apart from the screen, there will be sensors and cameras in the room where the parallel reality display is present. Once you scan your ticket at the entry, the sensors and the camera will follow you till your exit. Misapplied Sciences reveal that this technology can work with over 100 people at the same time, meaning it will be perfect for slightly crowded places.
Personalized Content could Boom in the near future
Although not confirmed, we can expect the technology to work with more than 100 people at once in near future. But that may take some time. Also, the beta experience that’s set to go live at Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be the first time that the technology is going public. As it grows, we may see it being used in more places, followed by more similar types of tech in the future.
Having said that, expect personalized advertising and marketing to be more unique in the future. And we never know, this technology or something similar to this may end up being used at the Times Square Plaza in New York years later to display content. So, get ready for a future full of personalized ads, if not soon, then in the next five to ten years.