virtual assistants

Tidbits for travelers: ways to interact – and to be alone

A little bit of this and that from airports and hotels here and there….

At the Dubai International Airport, there’s now an interactive virtual assistant on duty – the first of its kind, says Tensator, the company that created the first three non-interactive virtual assistants already on duty.

The HD-projected virtual assistant greets passengers and “interacts” with them in Arabic and English – offering information and answers to frequently asked questions, such as the location of departure gates, restrooms and check-in areas, via the interactive touchscreen.

Virgin America launched its first domestic lounge – the Virgin America Loft – at Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Terminal 3.

And, for those who want to be alone – the Radisson Blu Strand Stockholm now has a suite named after Swedish-born Greta Garbo, who was a regular guest at the hotel.

She first visited the hotel’s rooftop terrace when she was an aspiring starlet in 1920s and, after becoming a major name in Hollywood, she returned to the hotel often and her family continues to frequent the hotel. The hotel collaborated with Garbo’s family to create the suite, which combines artwork and textiles from Garbo’s movies with pieces by Swedish designers.

Tidbits for travelers: new airport, new avatar on duty

Mari, a Stuck at The Airport reader who works in air navigation in Georgia – the country, not the state – wrote to draw our attention to the King David the Builder International Airport being built in Kutaisi, Georgia by the Dutch architectural firm, UNStudio.

The airport is scheduled to be completed by September, 2012. Here’s what the tower is going to look like:

(Photo courtesy UNStudio)

Very futuristic-looking, right?

At Washington Dulles International Airport, the future is already here.

A 3D-looking Tensator Virtual Assistant – Dulles has named her “Paige” – is on duty welcoming passengers, offering Customs and Border Protection information and sharing connecting flight information in the International Arrivals Building.

Here’s a video (taken by an airport representative) of Paige in action: