Delta Air Lines Turning On Its First Parallel Reality Display At DTW Before Month Is Done

June 17, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Delta Air Lines plans to switch on what it calls the first-ever Parallel Reality display on Concourse A at Detroit’s airport at the end of this month – offering a way for up to 100 people to see content personalized to each viewer, at the same time.

Huh? What?

The technology was developed by the LA start-up Misapplied Sciences, and was debuted at the CES consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas in 2020.

Bob Raikes of Display Daily helpfully explains things a bit in a post (paywalled, though):

The display technology comes into its own after users scan their boarding pass or can activate it using facial recognition if they are enrolled in the Delta Digital Identity programme (if not, the system uses overhead cameras to identify those using the system when they register and tracks the ‘person object’ without knowing any personal details, Delta told Gizmodo). Those that are enrolled will be automatically recognized and will have personalized information shown to them. The information will be in an appropriate language and will advise of gate numbers and other useful travel guidance such as the correct carousel for baggage collection.

So computer vision tech is used to detect, capture and log unique facial patterns, and then it serves mesaging based on known information from the traveler, which is in the airline’s passenger app.

“This technology truly must be seen to be believed. We can’t wait for customers to experience the ease and convenience it can bring to their journeys, especially when paired with the wayfinding and personalization capabilities of the Fly Delta app,” says Ranjan Goswami, S.V.P. – Customer Experience. “The PARALLEL REALITY experience means customers will no longer have to search for flight and gate information – the personalized journey details the experience delivers is a powerful complement to Delta’s digital tools, the airport innovations we’ve already put in place and the unmatched service that our employees provide every day.”

Misapplied Sciences has a How It Works page that is all about light rays and spatial calibration that put me in a fugue state. I was way better at English and History in high school.

Says Delta in PR:

Customers can find this new technology in Concourse A of the McNamara Terminal, just past the security checkpoint. Customers departing from DTW will be able to experience the mind-bending technology and share their input directly with Delta as the airline looks to understand its efficacy in the real world before potentially expanding to other airports.


PARALLEL REALITY technology first caught the eye of experts at The Hangar, Delta’s innovation center. Delta saw an opportunity to leverage this groundbreaking innovation to transform the airport experience, enabling a seamless, personalized journey as customers move from curb to gate.

“The spirit of innovation is a driving force across Delta. We’re constantly searching for ways to innovate to improve the customer experience meaningfully,” says Matt Muta, V.P. – Innovation. “With the PARALLEL REALITY technology, we saw an opportunity to transform another aspect of the airport journey into seamless, personalized and wholly unexpected.” 

The supplied image kinda looks like crap, which I’d imagine owes to this not being a normal display and the tech just emerging from beta. It looks like the flat panel-like display is akin to a very small video wall made up of tablet-sized LED modules, with seams.

This video from the CES preview is helpful showing how it looks, but I am still mostly in rapid eye-blink mode trying to understand what’s all going on here.

It is absolutely one of those things you have to see to understand and assess. I have been in DTW all of once, so who knows when I’ll get a chance. Nice airport, though, as airports go.

The official go live date is June 29th.

  1. Neil Bron Chatwood says:

    Feels like technology looking for a problem. As someone living in this sector Dave, I’m also blinking.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Given this is tied to smartphone apps, that seems the better/best 1-to-1 communications device. BUT … one of those things I’d like to see and experience. Hard to have a learned opinion from a press release and YouTube video.

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