Virtual reality (VR) has a lot of potential applications for the travel industry, but what about being used when actually travelling? Obviously the wired limitations of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) prevent it from being used in-transit at this point in time, but Samsung’s smartphone-based Gear VR doesn’t suffer from the same issues. With this in mind, Qantas Airlines has announced a partnership that will bring the new HMD to its jets for the first case of in-flight VR.
Qantas Airlines is currently trailing the use of Gear VR as an entertainment device for its travelling customers. On select flights passengers can put on a HMD and view a series of custom vignettes that have been created by cinematic VR company Jaunt. With the HMD on viewers can explore a Qantas airport lounge, watch a Qantas flight take off and land, visit the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and travel through a nature scene from Australia, all of which was shot using Jaunt’s 360 degree, 3D cameras.
“Qantas is the first Airline to offer cinematic VR as an in-flight entertainment option for its customers, and we’re honored that they have chosen Jaunt’s cutting edge technology and content to power this brand new in-flight experience,” Jaunt VP of Content Scott Broock said of the news. “They’re thrilled with the results, and we look forward to creating an extensive library of immersive VR content that highlights the epic beauty of their routes.”
Content will be made available to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges as well as in the First Class cabins on select A380 services. Trails will run for three months before the airline makes a decision about continued use. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all applications of VR, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.