Qantas, Samsung team up to deliver VR in the friendly skies

The idea of virtual reality may be foreign to most, but if you’re about to head out on a long trip and you need something to take your mind off being high in the sky, Samsung’s Gear VR might just do the trick.

That’s the idea, anyway, with Qantas coming together to work with Samsung Australia to provide a 360 degree interactive service for people in first class on select A380 services, as well as customers in the Sydney and Melbourne international first class lounges.

It’s a test for Qantas, which will run Gear VR headsets with supplies Galaxy Note 4 units, the combination of gadgets showing movies in the privacy of a personal headset, as well as some interactive experiences that can act as a virtual tour to locations you might never have been to, such as the Northern Territory, which is working with Jaunt, a virtual reality company, to come up with one such experience.

Qantas even plans to let people explore its aircraft and lounges using the headsets, showcasing its own places to the people that regularly fly its version of the friendly skies.

“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,” said Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group Executive for Brand, Marketing, and Corporate Affairs.

“From an inflight 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.”

Samsung’s Gear VR headsets will roll out to select A380 aircraft in first class in mid-March, while first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne will see the headsets mid-February.

As for when everyone else will be able to get their hands on a Gear VR, that remains to be seen since Samsung delayed its virtual reality accessory last month, but we’ll let you know when anything changes.