Enlarge / Ars editor Sam Machkovech donning an Oculus Go headset. This is not the headset British Airways will use, nevertheless it serves an identical operate.

Airplane journey is usually a problem at greatest 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 12 months 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 might be accessible for its first-class passengers. The AlloSky can current 3D views even when the viewer is mendacity flat.

So far as programming, British Airways can have choices. The VR headsets will supply visible leisure in 2D, 3D, or 360° codecs. The airline can 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’ at its ticket counters in Heathrow to point out passengers the expertise of its first-class journey in an effort to encourage upgrades.

A number of different airways have tried providing VR for passengers. Final 12 months, 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 checks reveals simply what number of industries may discover methods to leverage the expertise. Movie is a pure extension of the immersive visuals in VR; SXSW this spring had a number of glorious examples of the tech. And the therapeutic angle British Airways has taken is one that hardly scratches the floor of how VR will be utilized: not only for anxious flyers, however for anxious sufferers. Stanford Youngsters’s Well being and Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles are simply two well being care suppliers engaged on packages with digital actuality.



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