VR Makes It Possible: Explore the Aircraft Before You Board

A new web-based software from the airline Emirates gives passengers the opportunity to climb aboard even before the flight, and select and book their preferred seat in a perfectly visualized, three-dimensional cabin. The innovation was recently declared a “visionary concept” and awarded the Crystal Cabin Award – the “Oscar” of the aviation industry – and launched online a few weeks later.

“Climb aboard before you board”, promises the airline from the United Arab Emirates. In future, guests will be able to use the new Virtual Reality-Feature (VR) to move around the space inside the cabin of a Boeing 777-300ER jet or a double-deck Airbus A380 wide-body aircraft long before departure. This service is available to anyone interested, and to passengers of all cabin categories, from economy to business to first class. They can even take a look inside the luxurious on-board lounge or the spa-shower – and all without a boarding pass.

Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications, Marketing and Digital Brand, Emirates

“We are constantly working on offering our customers a high-quality digital experience, too,” says Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications, Marketing and Digital Brand at Emirates, justifying the implementation of the new VR application. “We are the first airline in the world to introduce this technology online.” The development partner was Spanish VR specialist Renacen, whose product “3D Seat Map VR” forms the basis of the Emirates solution. The IT company also received the coveted Crystal Cabin Award. Internationally, these prizes are considered the most prestigious accolades for innovation in aircraft interiors and are awarded annually in several categories at the Hamburg “Aircraft Interiors Expo” trade fair.

THE NEW VR APPLICATION BY EMIRATES ALLOWS FUTURE PASSENGERS OF THE BOEING 777 AND AIRBUS A-380 WIDE-BODY PLANES TO PAY A VISIT BEFORE BORDING. AFTER SELECTING THEIR PREFERRED SEAT IN ONE OF THREE COMFORT CATEGORIES, PASSENGERS CAN BOOK THEIR FLIGHT DIRECTLY VIA THE APPLCATION. A VIRTUAL VISIT TO THE ONBOARD LOUNGE OR SHOWER SPA GETS PASSENGERS EXCITED ABOUT THE FLIGHT.

The high-resolution 3D graphics offer users two functionalities. They can explore the exceptionally realistic representation of the cabin interior from fixed navigation points on their computer screen with the mouse, or use the application with VR glasses such as Google Cardboard. Users can move through the cabin and choose their preferred seat completely hands-free. The application is not only available online, but can also be accessed easily on all smartphones and via the Emirates app for iOS and Android.

Text by Behrend Oldenburg
Photo and renderings: Emirates

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