There’s no doubt that “the future” really is upon us. It all started with pressing that one Facebook button that allows any website to get all our information- and soon enough, we’ll all be starring in the real life remake of the movie “Minority Report”. In the spirit of future innovation, Air France is trialling an entertainment concept that would offer a significant leap to in-flight entertainment as we know it… and it’s a bit wild.
Air France is trialling VR and 2D Goggles in business class, in place of clunky entertainment screens. That’s right. No more seat back screens. Well, at least in theory. These goggles would enable passengers to watch standard 2D television shows, movies and other media- as well as 3D tours, virtual reality and new media, which are increasingly making their way to market. Would everyone look like total losers? Yes. Could it actually be a lot more efficient than trying to tilt and maneuver to watch movies presently? Also yes. Would it make a shoulder tap from a flight attendant or other passenger terrifying? The thought alone is unimaginable.
Air France is particularly interested in this entertainment breakthrough because the company behind the headsets “SkyLights” is part of their business mentorship/investment program called “Open Innovation”. Air France is attempting to collaborate with clever start ups to enhance (hate that word) their own airline product while developing technologies relevant to their field. This is a field with some inevitability to it, and they have placed themselves on the forefront.
But it really could work. As airlines seek to shave (literal) weight off their planes, and wearing goggles becomes less like something that your strange neighbor might do on a Friday night- and more of an actually feasible way to experience more immersive content, this could just work. For now the trial is limited to select seats in the business class cabin, on flights between Paris and St. Martin, but the company is eager to test the concept further. VR headsets in place of electronics screens could make great sense in economy, where space is king. We all need more space.
Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...
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