On Friday, we heard about how Japan Airlines is working hard on bringing the most cutting-edge technology to make the best travel experience. We did some market research to find out which were the biggest pain points in air travel from the consumer perspective, and it turns out that passengers mostly complain about comfort, being bothered by other passengers (noise) and the in-flight entertainment quality. We decided to take JAL to the next level of technology and develop an immersive VR entertainment and wellness system to address those issues. The result of those efforts is the Sensorama3D platform

What it does

Sensorama3D is an in-flight multimedia entertainment and communication platform. It combines a VR headset with gesture commands to create an immersive environment with the following features:

  • 360° view of the plane's surroundings and information about the flight
  • private HD VR movie theatre
  • video games in VR
  • wellness and relaxation channel to help dealing with claustrophobia and jet lag
  • in-flight notification and communication system
  • personal device connectivity (smartphone, PC)

We take reference to the currently popular in-flight entertainment system and try to improve upon it with Oculus and RealSense. Based on the health and well-being needs air passengers, we designed methods to reduce or even remove the symptoms. We also provide information that is the most helpful and convenient for the passengers in-flight as well as after landing. Passengers will be provided with the best mental stage and the energy they need to take any upcoming challenge.

How we built

With Unity and the RealSense SDK Unity toolkit, we achieve a simple gesture navigable GUI and a few interacting elements that best suit an in-flight environment.

Challenges we ran into

We're still figuring out how to make RealSense work reliably. We also had some heated discussions about the business side and what would be the best implementation strategy

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're the first ones combining VR with sensors to create such an experience. VR is coming to air travel one way or another, and we think our proposal can provide the best user experience. The first airline to offer VR entertainment can use this competitive advantage to increase sales and use the momentum to position itself as the best hi-tech airline.

What we learned

We learned a little bit about in-flight consumer experience and the airline industry. We also learned how to incorporate sensor technology like RealSense into a Unity application.

What's next for Sensorama3D

We'd like to do a "pilot project" (pun indended) with Sensorama3D to start testing and improving our service. It could then be implemented as a standard offer in business class and above. As VR technology becomes more accessible in the coming years, Sensorama3D could be rolled out to Premium Economy or even Economy class.

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