Qantas will hand out Samsung virtual reality headsets to Airbus A380 first class passengers in a three month trial of the technology beginning mid-February.
The Samsung Gear VR headsets, which will launch onto the Australian market next month for $249, will be available in the first class cabins of Qantas' daily superjumbo flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles and back.
They'll also be on offer in Qantas' international first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne.
Travellers eager to take a quick VR jaunt will be able to sample 360 degree content including brief clips of a Qantas Airbus A380 taking off and landing plus a peek at Qantas' new Los Angeles First Lounge.
Four of the VR headsets will be available to share among the 14 seats in the A380's first class cabin, with each headset partnered to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone loaded with a library of virtual reality clips.
Several of these have been shot exclusively for Qantas and the airline intends to built a library of VR clips for key destinations, with the first already shot in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park.
Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth tells Australian Business Traveller that the airline is also keen to see how Hollywood-produced VR movies could transform inflight entertainment.
AusBT tried the headset and VR content at today's launch and at this stage would rate it as an interesting taste of what could be done, although the amount of appealing content – especially content which goes beyond mere curiosity value – will be paramount to take-up during the trial.
Here's a video clip produced by Qantas to showcase its latest tech innovation.
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