Tag Archives: hologram

Avatars coming to New York airports to aid fliers

| sLieberman@queenscourier.com


Her name is AVA, and soon she will guide you through New York’s airports. She is a hard worker, requires no breaks, is never sick, and is completely content distributing the same information over and over again for 24 hours, seven days a week.

AVA is an avatar — a 2D video image of a woman on a screen.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has recently purchased three prototypes of these avatars, produced by airportONE.com of Airus Media for a six-month trial period. Each one costs $180,000.

This initiative hopes to perfect future air travel and provide a solution to airport traffic. These avatars will be virtual representatives, programmed on a motion-activated loop to give you instructions on where to pick up your bags, where to catch your flight, and how to be fully prepared to efficiently go through security.

L. Patrick Bienvenu, Chief Operations Officer at Airus Media, said that people typically don’t pay attention to regular signs.

“They will pay attention to an avatar because she is so new,” said Bienvenu. “Also, the avatar can provide a consistent and clear message where a human may not.”

Newark Liberty International Airport has already unveiled one of its avatars, while LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International are set to begin their trial run of the virtual assistants in early July.

These additions are part of a bigger movement that the Port Authority has begun to revamp New York City’s airports. This effort includes the $3.6 billion project to turn LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, opened in 1964, into a 21st century terminal. The Port Authority will also be increasing its Customer Care Representative force by 20 percent.

“The Port Authority is seeking novel as well as traditional ways to improve customer service,” said Ron Marsico, a Port Authority spokesperson. “The avatars will supplement the ‘human touch.’”

In terms of AVA’s future, “The sky’s the limit,” says Bienvenu, the avatar’s designer.

“In the future AVA will be able to respond to basic questions,” he said. “Think of ‘SIRI,’ the technology is there.”

For now, AVA is motion activated and begins her instructional loop when approached. When no one is directly in front of her she stands in slight motion, “Just so you know she’s alive.”


Top Headlines From Around the Web

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Queens couple found dead by son, 2, in apparent murder-suicide

A man is believed to have shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself –leaving their two-year-old son to make the grisly discovery inside their bedroom, sources said. The apparent murder-suicide took place in the family’s South Jamaica home on Dillon Street yesterday. Roxanne Lambert, 41, and her partner, whose name has not been released, were found dead with gunshot wounds to the head at 11:30 p.m., sources said. Lambert’s 16-year-old son was also home when the tragedy unfolded. Relatives said the couple had a rocky relationship and were often heard arguing. Read More: New York Post


Brangelina to tie knot in France

They won’t be America’s sweethearts much longer. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie plan to tie the knot at their sprawling estate in France this summer — and then live in England for at least the next two years, according to published reports yesterday. The famed Tinseltown couple has spent the last six months quietly planning to hold a lavish wedding ceremony at their manse near the village of Correns, in the south of France, London’s Daily Star reported. They’ll reportedly exchange vows in a pre-Roman chapel on the grounds. Read More: New York Post

Accused subway plotter in court on terror charges

A New Yorker accused of helping plan one of the most chilling terror plots in the US since 9-11, is in court today to stand trial on a wide range of criminal charges. Adis Medunjanin and other former school classmates launched a scheme to carry out suicide bomb attacks in New York City’s subways, federal prosecutors plan to argue in Brooklyn federal court. In preparation for the strikes, Medunjanin – along with alleged fellow-plotters Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay – journeyed to Pakistan to undergo bomb-making instruction at an al Qaeda terror training camp in a tribal region abutting that nation’s frontier with Afghanistan, officials say. Read More: New York Post

Jury Selection Begins In Clemens Perjury Retrial

Jury selection begins today in Washington in the perjury retrial of former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens. His first trial ended in a mistrial last summer after only two days of testimony because the prosecution introduced inadmissible evidence. The seven-time Cy Young award winner is accused of of lying to Congress in 2008 while lawmakers were investigating steroid use in baseball. He faces three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. Read More: NY1


Coachella 2012: Tupac hologram joins Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre onstage at music festival

Late rapper Tupac Shakur resurrected onto the Coachella stage this past Sunday night to perform a few of his hit songs alongside music maven Snoop Dogg, to the shock and disbelief of the music festival’s 75,000 fans. “What up, Coachella?!” the bare-chested Tupac hologram greeted a roaring crowd, before joining Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on classic single “Hail Mary.” The faux Shakur wore acid-wash jeans and Timberland boots circa 1995, just around the time he was shot dead on September 13, 1996, at the young age of 25. Read More: Daily News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not want a high-profile role at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Despite having his eye on a 2016 presidential run, Gov. Cuomo wants no part of a high-profile role at this year’s Democratic National Convention, insiders say. While Cuomo will attend the convention in September in Charlotte, N.C., those close to him say he doesn’t want President Obama to consider him for a major speaking slot — though it’s not certain he would even be asked. Cuomo has learned from the example of his father, a former three-term New York governor. Mario Cuomo, like his son is now, was in his second year as governor when he was picked to deliver the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Read More: Daily News



Three in elite NYPD anti-gun unit accused of treating black suspects like ‘animals’

Top supervisors of an elite NYPD anti-gun unit allegedly handled white suspects with kid gloves while treating blacks like “animals” deserving of a bullet to the head, the Daily News has learned. The explosive charges appear in sworn depositions from three members of the firearms suppression unit: two current NYPD detectives and a retired first-grade detective. Their testimony, part of a federal discrimination lawsuit, details how Capt. James Coan and Lt. Daniel Davin created a hostile environment for both their black detectives and suspected minority-group gun traffickers, said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Eric Sanders. Read More: Daily News