Qantas tests virtual reality for in-flight entertainment

Block out annoying passengers with VR on airplanes

At least for now, the VR experience is limited to first-class travelers. Credit: Qantas
At least for now, the VR experience is limited to first-class travelers. Credit: Qantas

Forget in-flight iPads; Qantas is about to pilot virtual reality goggles on the heads of its customers.

The trial entertainment service uses Samsung Gear VR headsets to show customers virtual 3D destinations, new Qantas products and in-flight movies. Qantas claims to be the first airline to offer in-flight VR.

Sadly, economy passengers will have to wait their turn to try the devices. The trial will provide Gear VR headsets to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges starting mid-February, and in First Class cabins on select A380 services starting mid-March.

Over the three-month trial, Qantas will assess customer feedback on how VR might add to the travel experience on long-haul flights.

“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or to experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” said Olivia Wirth, Qantas group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs.

“It’s also a fantastic tool to feature our network’s destinations, inspiring travel and promoting tourism.”

Qantas tapped production company, Jaunt, to develop and produce live-action content including destination footage.

The airline has partnered with Tourism NT to create a 3D experience from Kakadu National Park.

“This innovation literally adds a new dimension to how visitors experience Kakadu,” said Northern Territory chief minister, Adam Giles.

“Tourism NT is delighted to pilot this new technology as part of its suite of marketing projects utilising new, industry leading technology, and 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.”

Samsung has been targeting enterprises with Gear VR. The company recently partnered with virtual reality production house, Virtual Reality Ventures, which is helping the REA Group and other big Australian companies develop VR experiences.

Related: Why virtual reality is opening up a new world for customer interaction

The VR trial follows Qantas’ decision in 2012 to replace TV screens on the backs of seats with iPads for in-flight entertainment.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

brunson5862@mail.ru

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in