British Airways testing VR headsets for first-class passengers this yr

Ars editor Sam Machkovech donning an Oculus Go headset. This isn't the headset British Airways will use, but it serves a similar function.Enlarge / Ars editor Sam Machkovech donning an Oculus Go headset. This is not the headset British Airways will use, nevertheless it serves an analogous perform.

Airplane journey generally is a trouble at finest and a panic-inducing expertise at worst. However passengers who get anxious round takeoff might have a brand new choice to calm these nerves. British Airways introduced that it’s testing out digital actuality headsets for the remainder of this yr on flights between London’s Heathrow and New York Metropolis’s John F. Kennedy airport.

The airline is tapping SkyLights for the VR eyewear headsets that can be out there for its first-class passengers. The AlloSky hardware can current 3D views even when the viewer is mendacity flat.

So far as programming, British Airways may have choices. The VR headsets will provide visible leisure in 2D, 3D, or 360° codecs. The airline may even present extra therapeutic packages to assist individuals who have a concern of flying. These VR experiences embrace guided meditation and sound remedy.

This marks the primary time British Airways is bringing digital actuality onto its aircrafts. The corporate additionally used SkyLights’ hardware at its ticket counters in Heathrow to indicate passengers the expertise of its first-class journey in an effort to encourage upgrades.

A couple of different airways have tried providing VR for passengers. Final yr, Alaska Airways additionally started a partnership with SkyLights to supply in-flight headsets. Air France, Lufthana, and Quantas have all tried out digital actuality packages.

A lot of the dialog about digital actuality has stayed centered on gaming, however the extent of those assessments reveals simply what number of industries might discover methods to leverage the expertise. Movie is a pure extension of the immersive visuals in VR; SXSW this spring had a number of wonderful examples of the tech. And the therapeutic angle British Airways has taken is one that hardly scratches the floor of how VR may be utilized: not only for anxious flyers, however for anxious sufferers. Stanford Kids’s Well being and Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles are simply two well being care suppliers engaged on packages with digital actuality.

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