Qantas and Samsung team up for virtual reality first

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 29 January 2015

In an industry first, Qantas and Samsung have teamed up to create an in-flight virtual reality experience using Samsung's mobile Oculus technology.

The duo have launched a trial entertainment service that uses Samsung virtual reality (VR) technology to give customers a three dimensional experience in a 360 degree style interactive format. This sees Qantas become the only airline to offer a virtual reality entertainment experience in-flight.

Qantas’ VR headsets aim to transport customers to an immersive virtual world at the click of a button and showcase the sights and delights of network destinations, new Qantas products and the latest in-flight blockbuster movies.

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 as part of its suite of marketing projects - with a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park.

Qantas group executive for brand, marketing and 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.

“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” Wirth said.

“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.”

The trial will run for three months to assess customer feedback on how this kind of VR offering might add to their overall travel experience on long-haul flights.

Samsung launched its VR device late last year - and partnered with AdNews to be able to give away a set as part of our recent Reader Survey.

Samsung Australia CMO Arno Lenior said: “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.”

The Northern Territory’s chief minister and minister for tourism, Adam Giles, said this type of 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.”

The Samsung VR headsets will be featured in the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne from mid-February and on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles in the First Class cabin from mid-March.

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