Air New Zealand trial ‘babel’ tech with Google Pixel Buds

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Air New Zealand is turning to technology to tackle the language barriers that often arise during travel. The airline is one of the first corporates globally to trial a customer service use case for Google’s wireless Bluetooth Pixel Buds headphones which enable live translation of 40 languages via a Google Pixel handset.

Air New Zealand chief digital officer, Avi Golan (main picture) says the airline has a number of multi-lingual employees but naturally there are times when the relevant language speaker may not be on hand and technology could play a pivotal role in those moments.

“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.

“Both Air New Zealand and Google put people and technology at the heart of their products and experiences and it’s been excellent exploring how translation technology like Google’s Pixel Buds could enhance our customer experience.


“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,” says Mr Golan.

Air New Zealand has an aspiration to be a leading digital airline.  It’s experimentation with Google Pixel Buds follows on from other initiatives this year involving Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Social Robotics.

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