Qantas & Samsung to offer virtual reality entertainment to passengers


Samsung and Australian airline Qantas are to roll out virtual reality (VR) headsets to first class passengers, allowing them to experience a whole new way of consuming in-flight entertainment.

The tech will be available for first class passengers and will feature Samsung Gear VR headsets and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 handsets crammed with specially developed content.

The pilot scheme will be implemented on flights between LA and Sydney and Melbourne to LA on Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s.

Qantas group executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, said: "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."

A range of other content - such as films - will also be available on the headset, although Qantas doesn't expect passengers to use the headset for the full duration of the flight, but for a couple of hours at a time. This would ensure the 4 headsets each aircraft has onboard will be enough for the 14 seats in first class.

There will also be a further two VR headsets in Qantas' Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges.

Tourism NT has partnered with Samsung and Quantas with a 3D experience of Kakadu National Park, while other content providers are developing content for the experience.

Wirth finished: "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."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.