Virtual reality is coming to skies. Qantas Airways, an Australian commercial airline company, is in the news today for two reasons: one is the end of something great and the other is a beginning of something amazing. To start with the end, Qantas is retiring its Boeing 747-400 that made a record-breaking flight from London to Sydney in just over 20 hours. This was about 15 years ago in 1989, and was technically a commercial flight but only carried 23 in total. Stuff.co.nz reports:
Qantas is donating the aircraft, also known as “City of Canberra” to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS).
The facility is home to the largest collection of both flying and static heritage aircraft in Australia, including an old Quanta Lockheed Super Constellation,
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said it was important for such an iconic aircraft to be on display as a reminder of the role Qantas had played in aviation history
While it’s a sad day for City of Canberra, Qantas is saying out with the old, and in with the new, because Qantas is embracing Virtual Reality taking mile high. They have partnered with the smartphone giant Samsung and have announced that those persons traveling in first class will soon be provided with a virtual reality headset for the flight. A quanta’s exec, Olivia Wirth comments:
Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or to experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers.
While there are some challenges, some concerning content, the main challenge is safety. Is it really safe to have people effectively somewhere else if there were an emergency. Another concern is weather it would be annoying to have people lurching around in reaction to their VR headset.
Questions of safety are ones that airlines are going to need to address soon, because whether airlines provide VR headsets or not, people are going to start bringing them on flights. I mean, who wouldn’t want to pretend they were somewhere else while enduring a 13-hour flight.
Qantas is excited for their new partnership and is eager to make themselves stand out from the rest. What do you think of the safety concerned involved with Virtual Reality headsets on aircraft? Is it negligible, or cause enough for true concern? Let us know in the comments of on social media!
Featured image courtesy Wikipedia.