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Is Virtual Reality In-Flight Entertainment Ready for Takeoff?

Bill Wasinger

Bill Wasinger is an award winning copywriter and consultant with over 25 years experience writing for print, broadcast, and digital media. He operates his own copy and design firm, Ph Communications, working with a variety of national and regional brands.

Is Virtual Reality In-Flight Entertainment Ready for Takeoff?

Apparently, it takes more than a movie and free drink tickets to keep airline passengers happy these days.

Anyone who’s ever flown has likely experienced the dread of landing that cramped middle seat, no leg room, turbulence, screaming babies, a too-chatty seat mate, recycled air, air sickness, jet lag and/or general travel weariness. However, if a patent application from aircraft maker Airbus comes to fruition, future air travel might include a virtual reality isolation headset to help you fly away from the hassles of flying.

Featured on Yahoo Travel, Airbus noted in its patent application that its VR isolation helmet design could one day offer passengers a fully immersive, in-flight entertainment option to help them get away from the stresses of modern air travel. The helmet even features a mini-airbag to protect the wearer from bumping their head during turbulence or, as the application worded it, “sudden deceleration.”

Resembling a cross between a beauty salon hair dryer and a form of Star Wars headwear, Airbus sees its VR isolation helmet integrated into the seat’s headrest, while offering a built-in video screen and movable glasses and earphones for enjoying 3D video, movies, video games, music, surfing the web and more. The helmet would also offer options to reduce the transparency of the screen, and ports for the passenger to plug in their own devices to help fully tune out the rest of the plane. Finally, to help wearers forget about all that recycled air at 30,000 feet, the headset would even offer a choice of scents to help passengers better enjoy the air up there.

Airbus officials caution that the company files patents for just about every idea its engineers and designers come up with, so there’s no guarantee the VR headset will ever take flight. The company has also filed patents for windowless cockpit aircraft and radical airliner seating resembling benches equipped with bicycle seats, noting it’s trying to plan for both next year and the next 100 years of aviation.

Whether the Airbus VR isolation helmet turns out to be the flight entertainment of the future or just a flight of fancy remains to be seen. However, that the company generated the idea and filed for the patent application indicates that the future applications of virtual reality are ready for takeoff.

Image credit: United States Patent Office/Airbus

Video credit: Time News

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