Sats to start using augmented reality to improve accuracy and efficiency of baggage and cargo handling

The new "smart glasses" which Sats will be using for its ramp-handling operations, which will allow staff to scan visual markers on baggage and cargo containers.
The new "smart glasses" which Sats will be using for its ramp-handling operations, which will allow staff to scan visual markers on baggage and cargo containers.ST PHOTO: ZHAKI ABDULLAH
The new "smart glasses" which Sats will be using for its ramp-handling operations. They will be provided to about 600 of the firm's ramp handling staff.
The new "smart glasses" which Sats will be using for its ramp-handling operations. They will be provided to about 600 of the firm's ramp handling staff.ST PHOTO: ZHAKI ABDULLAH

SINGAPORE - Ground handler Sats announced on Tuesday (Sept 5) that it will be using augmented reality technology - specifically smart glasses - for its ramp handling operations.

This is expected to increase the accuracy and efficiency of baggage and cargo handling, and shorten loading times by as much as 15 minutes, said the firm at a media conference announcing the move.

Using smart glasses, Sats staff will be able to scan “visual markers” such as QR codes on baggage and cargo containers, and then get information – projected on the glasses – on their weight and loading sequence.

This technology is called augmented reality, which in this case involves digital text being overlaid on the real-world things a person sees through the glasses.

These glasses will be provided to about 600 of Sats ramp handling staff. They will also provide real-time loading instructions, as well as allow the ramp control centre a real-time view of on-ground processes.

This will allow for better supervision of cargo with special handling requirements.

The technology is already being employed for training purposes on selected flights, and is expected to be implemented across all of Sats' operations in Singapore within the next six to nine months.

"Once tried, tested and proven, Sats will be rolling out this (augmented reality) technology across its subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures in the region," said a Sats spokesman.

Sats provides its services, which include airfreight handling and passenger services, at 47 airports in 14 countries across Asia and the Middle East.

With the number of air travellers expected to double to 7.2 billion by 2035, Sats president and chief executive Alex Hungate said the use of technology would allow Sats to "handle more passengers, aircraft and airfreight".

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who attended the event, said the use of technology such as augmented reality will "keep our airport and airlines ahead of their competition".