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It was recently announced that British Airways’ IAG stablemate, Iberia, will be trialling Virtual Reality entertainment onboard its flights, in partnership with specialists ‘Inflight VR’
The second-generation ‘Pico’ devices will be available for rent during flights and “will enable viewers to experience three-dimensional content in games, films, city travelogues, and documentaries, including dives into the depths of the Red Sea”.
After a trial period, virtual reality devices will be available to passengers on the two daily Madrid-New York flights that Iberia operates with Airbus A350-900s, and on the daily Madrid-Tel Aviv flight on an Airbus A330-200.
Nikolas Jaeger, founder and managing director of Inflight VR, said,
“We think virtual reality has a great potential and it can change the air passenger experience as a part of the in-flight entertainment programme. The viewer is no longer a mere observer, but can take a stroll in the city he or she will be visiting, or simply relax before arriving at the destination.”
Ignacio Toval, Iberia’s Digital Transformation Director, added
”We learned about Inflight VR through Hangar 51, IAG’s start-up accelerator programme. Since 2017, we’ve been working together to develop a VR solution that can offer a new experience to our customers. An important aspect of Iberia’s digital transformation push lies in the incorporation of new technologies and digital innovation during the entire travel experience, from the moment they think about buying a ticket to arrival at the destination.”
Initially, the plan is for a 6 month trial, after which a decision will be taken about expanding the service to other medium and long-haul Iberia routes.
When I first saw this my initial reaction was, “sounds great – my son would love this!”, but now I’ve thought about it a bit more, I’m really not sure about it. It would certainly be fun for those enjoying the VR sets, but I can see it getting annoying for other travellers very quickly…
What do you think – good idea, or disaster waiting to happen?