South Korean low cost carrier Jin Air is launching a new in-flight VR entertainment service later this year. (Jin Air)
South Korean low cost carrier Jin Air is preparing to launch a new in-flight virtual reality (VR) entertainment service on international routes by the end of the year, under a new partnership with KT Corp. and Hanjin Information Systems & Telecommunications (HIST) Co.
KT Corp., the largest telecommunications company in South Korea, will be making its VR Service platform “Super VR” available to Jin Air passengers to enable the new service. Passengers will be able to use VR headsets provided by Jin Air to view television shows, movies and other in-flight entertainment (IFE) content onboard.
“Currently, the three companies are customizing the Super VR platform for connection to aircraft computer servers,” KT Corp., said in a statement. Super VR will also be used to provide passengers that are wearing headsets with in-flight public announcements.
Passengers on a flight view immersive media contents via the KT Super VR service. (KT Corp.)
"We can enjoy a new experience of entertainment based on VR contents not just at home or places but while traveling by plane," Kang Kook-Hyun, head of KT's Business Group, said in a statement. "Like this partnership with Jin Air and HIST, KT will pioneer industrial innovation by developing the best VR entertainment service for air travelers."
Jin Air, which operates a an all-Boeing 737/777 fleet, has already introduced a pilot project of the in-flight VR service, becoming the first airline in South Korea to do so. Their vision is to offer IFE content through the new VR service that is specific to certain routes.
In-flight virtual reality will be the latest new IFE offering from Jin Air once it makes a full-scale debut on passenger carrying routes. This month, Jin Air transitioned its “JINI Entertainment” IFE service to “JINI TV,” with content provided by an assortment of South Korean television companies.
KT’s service is already in use by several hotels, bus and passenger boat operators in South Korea, and the company sees the Jin Air partnership as its first step in bring the technology to commercial airlines. According to KT Corp., the effort to bring the technology to aircraft cabins was driven by “increases in mid- and long-distance flights of domestic low-cost carriers who are seeking in-flight entertainment systems.”
The growing trend of airlines removing seatback IFE screens also helped inspire the new in-flight VR service collaboration, KT said in a statement.