British Airways boosts in-flight experience with virtual reality trial

British Airways boosts in-flight experience with virtual reality trialBritish Airways boosts in-flight experience with virtual reality trial

British Airways is claiming a U.K. first with the launch of a trial of virtual reality headsets on select flights to New York. The carrier is offering passengers on some flights in its first class cabin the chance to view films, documentaries and other programs in 2-D, 3-D and 360-degrees formats. The headsets have been designed by SkyLights, a company that participated in the Hangar 51 startup accelerator from British Airways parent IAG. The airline trialled the headsets earlier this year at Heathrow Terminal 5 to enable customers to see its Club World cabin via VR. The company says it is investing £6.5 billion over the next five years on customer developments including Wi-Fi installation, new interiors and new aircraft. In early 2015, Qantas unveiled a VR trial for in-flight entertainment using Samsung headsets. And, just over a year ago, Lufthansa unveiled its VR Moving Map trial enabling passengers to immerse themselves in potential excursions on the ground below. British Airways also recently commissioned research on what aviation would look like in the future including the potential for passengers to personalize their flight experience.
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