Qantas has launched a trial entertainment service using virtual reality (VR) technology to give customers a 360-degree interactive experience while in flight and on the ground.
The new service, in conjunction with leading electronics firm Samsung, literally adds a new dimension to the airline industry.
Qantas’ VR headsets — an industry first — will immerse passengers in a three-dimensional virtual world where, at the click of a button, they will be able to preview the airline’s network destinations, test new Qantas products, and watch the latest in-flight movies.
Samsung Gear VR headsets will be made available to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges starting mid-February as well as in first-class cabins on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles starting mid-March.
The trial will run for three months to assess customer feedback on how this kind of VR offering might add to their overall travel experience on long-haul flights.
Assuming a positive response, Qantas is also working closely with production company Jaunt to develop live-action content, including destination footage, further inspiring travel and promoting tourism.
Tourism NT is the first tourism group to partner with Qantas on the content creation, with a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park.
The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Adam Giles, said:
“This innovation literally adds a new dimension to how visitors experience Kakadu.
World first for Qantas
“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.”
Qantas is the only airline to offer a virtual reality entertainment experience inflight.
Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said the technology will open up a new world of lounge and inflight entertainment for customers, as well as give Qantas a powerful way to preview destinations and experiences.
“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,” said Ms Wirth.