Qantas and Samsung today unveiled an industry first. The carrier will be trialing a new Virtual Reality (VR) technology that delivers passengers a three dimensional experience in a 360 degree interactive format.
At the click of a button, passengers will be able to enjoy a virtual world filled with all kinds of experiences. Walk the city streets in one of the airline's destinations, discover new Qantas products, enjoy a bird's eye view of the world, or immerse yourself in the latest block-buster.
A three month trial period will take place in selected A380 First Class cabins and in the Sydney and Melbourne First Class Lounge.
Qantas will be the first, and only airline to-date, to offer this futuristic technology to its passengers. Passenger feedback will be collected during the three month trial with hopes of the product being available more broadly in the not too distant future.
It may look a little weird and clunky, even slightly uncomfortable, but Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said the technology will open up a new world of lounge and in-flight entertainment for customers, as well as give Qantas a powerful way to preview destinations and experiences.
“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.”
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Samsung Electronics Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Arno Lenior, said the deployment of Samsung Gear VR technology across selected Qantas services will provide an exceptional experience for customers.
“Samsung is immensely proud to be working with Qantas to deliver Samsung Gear VR entertainment technology through the airline’s first class services, both in the air and on the ground.
“We believe Samsung Gear VR, one of the latest innovations from Samsung, will open new worlds for Qantas customers who experience the technology for themselves,” Mr Lenior said.
Qantas is also working closely with production company Jaunt to develop and produce the live-action content including destination footage.
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. 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.”
What do you think? Will this idea take-off? Is this the way of the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.