French Railway Company Uses Google Glass to Check Tickets

SNCF, France’s national railway company, is currently using Google Glass to check passengers’ tickets before they board.

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The railway company SNCF equipped some of IDTGV’s, a subsidiary of SNCF, ticket inspectors with Google Glass last Thursday. The ticket inspectors tested the device for the first time on Thursday’s 12:07 p.m. train from the Gare de Lyon in Paris to Béziers in the South of France.

The way the device is being used by the ticket inspectors is pretty interesting. Some would assume that the ticket inspectors are using the camera on Google Glass to scan tickets, but that is not how they are using the device. The inspectors are using Google Glass to maintain as much eye contact as possible with people as they are scanning their tickets.

Ticket inspectors carry around a barcode scanner and a tablet along with Google Glass. The inspectors use their barcode scanner or tablet to scan passengers’ tickets and the ticket information is displayed on Google Glass instead of the tablet. From Google Glass, ticket inspectors can see if passengers’ tickets are valid, if their seat is reserved, whether the passenger purchased any food and if it’s the passenger’s birthday.

Currently, the above is the only way the device is being tested by the railway. With that being said, the railway seems to have some interest in testing the device in other ways as well. For example, they’ve talked about providing train staff with smart glasses so that they can easily report train damage and problems by taking pictures and by sending them to HQ.

Sadly, right now, the company is pretty limited when it comes to what they can do. They’ve only been able to get their hands on four pairs of Google Glass and that’s mostly due to the restrictions.

“We had a lot of trouble obtaining the glasses. Google France couldn’t get them for us, so we bought them for about £1,000 each through one of our suppliers in the U.K. which had access to the Glass Explorer program,”

While they may be struggling to get units, I’m sure they are seeing some positive results from their tests. Most companies who have used Google Glass for similar purposes have reported positive results.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section down below!

Sources: [1] [2]