Departure boards have been vital in travel centers for as long as travel centers have existed. From chalk and slate on stagecoach routes to the clacking mechanical signs at train stations, folks have always had a need to know where they were going and whether their transportation was on time.
Even now, when most of us have high-powered computers in our pockets, we take advantage of those giant screens at airports. Well, now Delta and a company called Misapplied Sciences are combining our cell phones and their new “parallel reality” technology to personalize what you see on every screen.
At the Delta hub in the Detroit airport, passengers can opt in to have the system track their movements in the airport, and offer them personalized flight updates on the large screens. The technology is capable of projecting millions of different light beams in every direction per pixel, meaning that you and your companion might be standing only a few feet apart, but you will each see information for your own personal flight. (How Misapplied Sciences knows how tall you are or if your phone is in your pocket or an outside pocket of your bag is a question left unanswered.)
Perhaps the name of this tech company is fitting, however. Although many people were amazed by this development, others were shaken by its implications. “Yes, in every movie and book with this kind of tech, it always results in a lovely, fair, safe, and happy society…” mocks user @Drümünkey. “Welcome to Black Mirror,” another agrees.
Others think that if Delta wants to invest in something high tech, there are other areas to which it could turn its attention. “What’s next,” asks @Mr. Szablewski, “planes that arrive on time?”