Sydney, 29 January 2015: At a joint launch in Sydney today, Qantas and Samsung Electronics Australia introduced a new entertainment service using Samsung virtual reality (VR) technology to give customers a ‘spectacular three dimensional experience in a 360 degree style interactive format’. Offering a showcase of network destinations, new Qantas products and the latest inflight blockbuster movies, a limited number of the Samsung Gear VR headsets will be made available to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges as well as to passengers in First Class cabins on select A380 services flying between Australia and Los Angeles. This initiative makes Qantas the first and only airline offering a inflight virtual reality entertainment experience.
Slated to run as a trial for three months the headsets will be available in the First Class Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne from mid-February and in the air from mid-March. This will enable Qantas and Samsung to assess customer feedback on how this kind of VR offering might add to their overall travel experience on long-haul flights.
In making the announcement, Qantas Group Executive for Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth, said the technology will open up a new world of lounge and inflight entertainment for customers, as well as give Qantas a powerful way to preview destinations and experiences. She added “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.”
“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. It’s also a fantastic tool to feature our network’s destinations, inspiring travel and promoting tourism.”
Samsung Electronics Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Arno Lenior, in saying that the deployment of Samsung Gear VR technology across selected Qantas services will provide an exceptional experience for customers commented that “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.” and further added “We believe Samsung Gear VR, one of the latest innovations from Samsung, will open new worlds for Qantas customers to experience the technology for themselves.”
Contributions towards the entertainment package come from production company Jaunt which collaborated on development and production of the live-action content including destination footage and thanks to the inclusion of Tourism NT as the first tourism group to partner with Qantas on content creation, viewers can enjoy a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park.
The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Adam Giles, said: “This 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.”
images supplied by Qantas.