Lufthansa Airlines Uses VR To Give Flyers A Glass Bottom Airplane Experience

Lufthansa partners with 3Spin to deliver a unique VR experience featuring 3D maps of mountain tops, lakes, and cities, all in real-time.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen, please buckle up your seatbelts, move your seats and trays in the upright position, put on your VR headsets and prepare for takeoff.’

Those are the words that Lufthansa airlines passengers will hear coming out of the PA system of the massive Airbus A330 as they travel from Frankfurt, Germany to Dubai on flight LH630.

It’s all part of Lufthansa’s VR Moving Map, an in-flight prototype experience that will make flyers feel as though they’re traveling on a glass bottom airplane. Passengers will be able to view real-time 3D renderings of the landscapes currently beneath them as they make their way from Deutschland to the City of Gold.

Surely an absolute dream come true for any regular flyer.

On top of high quality 3D renderings, the prototype VR program will also allow passengers to learn more about the locations they are currently flying over.

For instance, as you find yourself over Vienna, you could choose to take a ride on the Prater Ferris Wheel, or attend one of the classical concerts that made the city famous, all through 360 photos and videos.

The VR Moving Map was brought to life by the folks over at 3Spin in collaboration with the Lufthansa Customer Experience Team. The idea initially came about while Thomas Hoger of 3Spin was on a flight and thought to himself himself, “Where are we and what is going on down there.”

It was Hoger’s question that sparked the pursuit of finding a way to give passengers the ability to view mountains, lakes and cities that their plane is passing over – day or night, sunny or cloudy – no matter what the conditions were like outside.

VR was the answer to delivering that experience to Lufthansa’s customers.

Bringing VR into the travel experience is by no means a new idea. One Japanese company is using VR to let you ‘travel’ to Paris without actually leaving the ground via a VR experience that even includes in-flight meals. International travelers at JFK can use Periscape’s VR Tower as a way to escape the craziness of an airport as you wait for your flight.

However, those are all land-based VR experiences. Lufthansa wants to take VR and put it in the clouds by making it part of your in-flight experience, combining real-time data, the position of the airplane and 3D images to deliver a truly memorable flight.

The VR Moving Map experience operates on the Samsung Gear VR using a smart phone app designed by 3Spin that can access on-board flight data through a wireless local area network via an on-board server.

Here’s the thing, VR Moving Maps isn’t just the glass bottom airplane experience – though that alone is pretty hard to top. You’ll also be able to virtually explore the cockpit of the Airbus A330 and tap into information about the current flight speed and height, the outside temperature and how much longer until you reach your destination.

The team at Lufthansa sees VR as a growing trend for destination experiences, and they aim to use VR technology to further enhance the in-flight experience for their customers.

If you’re curious and want to get a sneak-peek of Lufthansa’s VR Moving Maps, you can view the route from Frankfurt, Germany to Dubai in 3D at the ITB Travel Show. Or you could try out the prototype during Lufthansa’s FlyingLab, an on-board flight conference that will let you test innovative flight technology.

Image Credit: 3Spin

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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