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How is virtual reality changing the inflight entertainment?

August 22, 2019

If you are a traveller and you are so familiar with an airplane, you should know about the VR technology in airline which has been applied to improve passengers experience.

Virtual reality (VR) is changing the inflight entertainment/Ph: British Airways

Since all the big names in the travel industry introduce the virtual reality (VR) technology in airline to their passengers, you might wonder what VR is and how the VR experiences entertain passengers. We will be figuring them out in this article.

Virtual reality – The innovative inflight entertainment

Plane is one of the safest, quickest means of transport which offers passengers a pleasant trip. However, for long flights, the travelling can still be uncomfortable, especially for passengers who experience motion sickness. In this case, VR comes to help. This innovative technology will enhance passengers flying experience better than traditional inflight entertainment, make them feel more entertained when they are onboard.

There are some airlines that have launched a trial of VR for passengers such as Iberia Airlines with a VR device to provide 3D Red Sea dives, films or documentaries, Alaska Airlines with short films to entertain passengers like a private movie theater. The advantages and benefits of VR inflight entertainment are really foreseeable, therefore, this technology is relatively expensive. Also, there are still barriers and possibilities to VR technology too.

Recently, British Airways has become the latest big name airline to bring virtual reality (VR) in-fight. The airline planed to test VR entertainment on select first-class flights from London’s Heathrow to New York’s John F Kennedy airport. Movies, documentaries and TV shows inflight will be tried out with 2D, 3D, and 360 degrees. The airline is also add therapeutic programmes such as meditation and sound therapy videos to the VR technology to help passengers with a fear of flying.

Barriers and possibilities to VR technology

The biggest barrier to VR perhaps is how expensive it is to apply this technology to an aircraft. Also, there are still concerns about the privacy and safety as it will be more challenging to use this technology through the air than on the ground conditions. In addition to that, airlines must ensure that all the headsets which will be attached to the passengers need to be shut off in time for emergency situations, so that passengers can be back to reality to comply with the safety procedures.

At the moment, the inflight VR experiments have been focusing on escapism from cramped plane cabins. There is no doubt that VR could improve to enhance the flight experience for passengers. For example, passengers in economy class can feel the spaciousness of a first-class suite with those elements incorporated into VR. Or it can provide a sense of ample legroom to make the passengers think that they have more space for their legs.

VR is definitely a great opportunity for airlines to enhance passengers flying experience. With the exciting developments and possibilities, it is changing the inflight entertainment. 

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