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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes Part 2: How Adidas is maximising digital while articulating culture

“Retail is not dead”. This was the bold statement made by, Michael Treff, president of Adidas’ digital creative agency, Code and Theory, at this year’s Cannes Lion festival of creativity.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in