Australian airline QANTAS has paired up with Samsung to offer virtual reality headsets for passengers on long international flights.
The virtual reality goggles became available for first class lounge passengers in Sydney and Melbourne in mid-February, and on multiple A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles in the first-class cabin in March.
Featured programs already include runway-side videos of the company’s massive A380 planes landing, 360-degree views of Qantas’ first-class lounge at LAX, and a 3D look at Kakadu National Park in Australia.
Now, Qantas is working with Jaunt to develop live-action content, so users can enjoy real time destination footage of select locations around the world.
QANTAS’ first experiment with this technology will be available to international passengers on June 27th. This 3D virtual reality experience will be of the Great Barrier Reef, giving viewers a 360-degree perspective of the world’s largest living structure from more than 30,000 feet in the air.
Olivia Wirth, Qantas Brand Executive, said the virtual reality experience helps highlight the company’s commitment to promoting the Whitsunday region.
“As one of the largest private investors in Australian tourism, we are constantly looking at different ways to showcase the wonderful destinations on our network,” she said.
Other airlines, including Delta, are also considering offering the headsets to passengers.
“From an inflight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first,” Wirth said. “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 favorite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground.”
Wirth also noted that the use of live action footage of the Great Barrier Reef will translate into more people choosing to visit the Whitsundays for their next holiday, and Hamilton island chief executive officer Glenn Bourke agrees.
“However, nothing can beat actually seeing the reef in person,” said Mr Bourke. “As a regular diver, I can say being on the reef is an exhilarating and unbeatable experience.”