An article posted this week indicated that the Australian carrier Qantas will start offering some passengers virtual reality headsets as part of their in-flight entertainment.
The company is reportedly testing the use of the technology in a three month trial period. During that time, premium passengers will be given the option to use a Samsung virtual reality headset — the “Gear VR” — to watch movies, explore virtual locations, or enjoy other Qantas-oriented videos.
Due to the somewhat confined nature of flights, it’s not all that surprising to see carriers looking to incorporate a technology capable of virtually “transporting” passengers away from everyone else. In fact, assuming Qantas is able to provide the right content, I suspect that the technology has a fairly good chance of succeeding in the world of in-flight entertainment.
The move by Qantas is truly noteworthy, however, in that it adds to the mounting evidence that virtual reality — and closely related technologies such as the Holo Lens — is quietly working its way into mainstream society. If companies continue embracing the technology in the way that they have been for the last 12 months or so, it doesn’t seem like it will be long before virtual reality headsets become commonplace, or perhaps even expected by customers.
Of course, there are still a myriad of challenges facing the up-and-coming tech, so I wouldn’t expect to see VR headsets popping-up all over the place overnight, but with countless big names in the tech world already frantically working on becoming the first major player in the budding segment, it seems like only a matter of time before other companies — and industries — start embracing the tech in a manner similar to Qantas.
For anyone interested in trying out the in-flight experience for themselves, the trial starts in March and will be offered on flights between Los Angeles and Australia. For more details, see the Qantas website.
To read the full write-up by CNBC, click here.
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