Virtual reality, the idea of creating a virtual space that makes you feel fully immersed in the virtual environment, has been a dream chased by the tech community for decades.
Why VR is finally ready for the mass market
Breakthroughs in lens technology, displays and latency have made the dream reality. From a technological viewpoint, virtual reality is now ready to conquer the mass market.
VR is attractive for use as Inflight Entertainment
VR is the perfect used case for the aircraft:
- The passenger is stuck in a confined area for some time
- VR is the first technology that is able to truly make the passenger forget that he or she is in an aircraft
- What can be displayed has no limits
- The VR technology offers completely new ways of immersing the passenger in scenes, which go well beyond traditional entertainment
It is truly like opening the door to a whole universe of opportunities.
How can VR be consumed in the aircraft?
Now: Loose Equipment
Headsets that have a small CPU integrated or mobile Gear VR are ideal to distribute to the passengers as loose equipment, foregoing all regulation requirements. Similarly like iPads, the headset can be stored and charged in a trolley, before being handed out. Whether this service should be complementary of for extra charge is up to the airlines themselves.
Later: Bring your own device
With VR on the brink to go mainstream, it won’t be long before many people have their own VR headset. Mobile VR allows us to create a VR app for the passengers to download and to enjoy customized, travel related and licensed virtual reality content.
Endgame: Seat integration
The long-term vision is to have premium VR headsets integrated in the seat, guaranteeing a high quality experience. Given the regulations for fixed installments and hardware requirements, this will be a solution for the future.
Challenges and Opportunities
While there are a lot of challenges to be solved to bring VR into the aircraft, the first airline to have a viable VR entertainment solution on board is a clear winner.