Qantas to offer virtual reality headsets to some first class passengers

Virtual reality is coming soon to Qantas flights between Los Angeles and Syndey. 

Virtual reality is coming soon to Qantas flights between Los Angeles and Syndey. 

As if first class passengers don't look ridiculous enough - people look absurd wearing pajamas and tracksuits on long flights - Qantas is bringing virtual reality to airplanes.

Over three months beginning in mid-March, Qantas will give first class passengers virtual reality headsets on some Airbus A380 flights between Los Angeles and Sydney. Travelers can also sample the virtual systems - developed by Samsung - in Qantas lounges in Melbourne and Sydney. 

"Qantas’ VR headsets will transport customers to an immersive virtual world at the click of a button and showcase the sights and delights of network destinations, new Qantas products and the latest inflight blockbuster movies," the airline said in a release.

“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” a Qantas executive said in the release. 

Not long ago, I wrote about a different company with an equally absurd invention. That company - the French giant Thales - told me the first class cabin of the future might not have headsets at all. Executives argued people don't like wearing the headsets on long flights. They're too constraining, and they can irritate the ears when worn for several hours. 

Thales shared with me some information about its own seat of the future.  In that seat, sound could be embedded inside the headrest, making headphones unnecessary. The company says it is coming up with a way to make sure that only you - and not your seatmate - hear your audio. 

Below is the Thales seat. If you want more information about it, check out a Thales video about the seat on YouTube. 

I know most people don't fly in first class. But it seems most innovation now is happening up front. Do you think these technologies could trickle down to coach eventually?


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