British Airways testing new VR in-flight entertainment for passengers

British Airways seems to be upping the stakes with its in-flight entertainment as the airline is set to test out a new virtual reality headset for passengers.

The new headsets from VR eyewear specialists Skylights will allow passengers to watch a series of films, documentaries and travel programmes in 2D, 3D or 360° formats.

BA is the first airline to trial the technology.

It's also worked with experts to find therapeutic programmes specifically designed for passengers with a fear of flying, including guided meditation and sound therapy.

Unfortunately, you're going to need to splurge on flights if you want to try it out for yourself.

That's because to begin with, the airline is only trialling the new technology in its First Class cabins – and only on a few select flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK.

(Apparently the VR system should work even when First Class passengers are lying on their fully flat beds).

Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said: "We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air.

"Virtual reality has the power to revolutionise in-flight entertainment and we’re really excited to trial these new glasses as they should create a unique and memorable journey for our First customers."

It's not the first time that BA has played around with VR technology.

Earlier this year the airline tested it out at Heathrow Terminal 5, giving customers a glimpse of its Club World cabin through the VR set.

The technology comes as part of a wider £6.5 billion investment from BA over five years for customers, which includes fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.

Oh, and for aviation fans you may want to check out the Saatchi Gallery in London throughout August, where the airline is hosting exhibition BA 2119: Flight of the Future which offers a glimpse at how they envision aviation in the future.

It also features Fly, a VR experience tracking key milestones in the world of aviation from the earliest imaginings of Leonardo da Vinci and his ornithopter, to the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Hawk.

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