The Sideshow

Hologram avatar to greet travelers at New York City airports

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Holograms are supposed to be a thing of the future. As it turns out, the future is only about two months away.

Starting July, travelers at New York City's three major airports will be able to interact with a life-size hologram avatar that will provide detailed information about connecting flights and even where to find a bathroom, Fox5 reports.

"I almost never take a break, don't charge overtime, hardly ever take sick leave and don't need a background check," the avatar woman says in a demonstration video.

It all sounds a bit like the helpful hologram Avina that guides characters through the Citadel in the Mass Effect video game series.

The set of three hologram units will cost $180,000 to operate for a six-month trial period and will be installed at New York's JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports.

In today's economy, spending $120,000 annually on each of the units could sound like a case of putting a technological gimmick over real jobs. However, the Port Authority was quick to note it plans to hire 70 additional human "customer care agents" as part of its overall efforts to improve service at the airports.

The hologram technology will work by projecting the image on a pane of glass and may remind some people of the recent surprise hologram rendition of the deceased rap artist Tupac Shakur at this year's Coachella music festival. Though it's unlikely the Port Authority will license Tupac's "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" as part of its marketing campaign.

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