Air New Zealand trialling live translation using Google Pixel Buds


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Air NZ is exploring the potential of live translation using Google Pixel Buds inflight and in the airport environment.

Air New Zealand is exploring how Bluetooth headphones can be used to provide real-time translation in multiple languages. The carrier is trialling a customer service use case for Google’s wireless Pixel Buds headphones, which enable live translation of 40 languages via the Google Pixel smartphone. 

The airline already has a number of multi-lingual employees but sees potential in live translation, especially in situations where a staff member who can speak the same language as the passenger is not immediately available to assist them.

Avi Golan, Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer, explained: “We operate to 30 international destinations and our customers speak an even more diverse range of languages. Google’s Pixel Buds could assist in areas such as check-in and boarding as well as inflight to help our staff communicate effectively with international customers.”

He added: “In this increasingly digital world our customers expect us to provide a fast and personalised experience. It’s crucial we embrace technology solutions and collaborating with like-minded partners helps us keep ahead of the game.”

The Google Pixel Buds trial is the latest part of Air New Zealand’s strategy to become a “digital airline”. In 2017, the carrier started exploring the potential of a raft of other technologies, including blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence

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