Qantas just made Virtual Reality In-flight entertainment a Reality
Australian airline Qantas has paired up with Samsung to start offering the company’s Gear virtual reality (VR) headset to first-class passengers on long-haul flights. The airline is set to become the first to offer a virtual reality entertainment experience inflight.
The company said in a statement it is launching the service for first-class customers on a three-month trial basis starting this March.
During the three-month trial, first class customers can enjoy a three-dimensional, 360-degree style interactive viewing experience.
The VR devices will be available for passengers flying with Qantas in first class on selected A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles along with being available in the international first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. The technology will be on offer in the lounges from mid-February and on flights from mid-March — if you can afford the first-class price tag.
“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” says Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth.
“From an in-flight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first. Qantas is committed to being at the forefront of innovation to give our passengers the very best and latest in-flight experiences, like accessing the virtual worlds of their favourite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground. It’s also a fantastic tool to feature our network’s destinations, inspiring travel and promoting tourism.”
Qantas is working with production company Jaunt to develop live-action content, including destination footage. Tourism Northern Territory has jumped on board for the ride, signing up to be the first tourism group to feature on the device — with a 3D boat journey in Kakadu National Park, the location of iconic Australian landmark Ayers Rock.
“This innovation literally adds a new dimension to how visitors experience Kakadu. Tourism NT is delighted to pilot this new technology as part of its suite of marketing projects utilising new, industry leading technology,” says The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Adam Giles. “What better way to demonstrate the impact this VR technology can have than by showcasing Kakadu, one of the world’s most iconic ‘must do’ tourism destinations.”
Qantas spokesperson Olivia Wirth says the technology will be used to give the user an immersive, exciting experience. This includes a tour of a future travel destination from the lounge while swilling the free champagne, and while 40,000 feet above the ground, it can be used to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster in 3D.