In-flight service may soon be getting an augmented reality boost, at least as far as Air New Zealand is concerned.

The airline has been exploring the possibility of developing unique software for Microsoft’s Hololens augmented reality viewer with technology service provider Dimension Data.

The aim is to create a system by which cabin crew would be able to see important passenger information displayed in front of their eyes as they carry out tasks. Preferred meal and drinks choices, for example, as well as loyalty membership details, onward travel information and other details.

That’s not all. According to the airline, the technology is apparently even able to pick up on passenger emotions using audio and visual cues. Whether this is aimed solely at anticipating customer needs or more broadly towards helping cabin staff identify potentially disruptive passengers and diffuse tense exchanges remains to be seen.

“This software is a great example of us collaborating with other partners and exploring how technology could enhance the way our people work as well as the experience they deliver to our customers through greater personalisation,” said Avi Golan, the airline’s chief digital officer.

Augmented reality remains a relatively new and underused tool within the travel sector, though there have been some recent developments. Among these are testing an augmented reality platform called Tango at San Jose International Airport, developed by Google, that was demoed by British Airways following the launch of its London-San Jose route.