It's unlikely that very many people would consider modern in-flight entertainment to be particularly effective. It's fine as a distraction, but as for actually passing the time in an enjoyable way, most people tend to bring books, magazines, laptops, or even game consoles. However, the crew at IdeaNova see an interesting opportunity to bring virtual reality entertainment to airlines, giving passengers a taste of the emerging VR industry as well as a potent alternative to the typical IFE fair.
Juraj Siska, CEO of IdeaNova, is quoted in an HMG Aerospace post stating that the INPLAY VR program is meant to improve airline passengers' flight experience by offering extertainment options for both airlined-provided and customer-owned VR headsets.
“Virtual Reality viewing is on the upswing in all sectors of visual entertainment," Siska said. "In-flight Entertainment (IFE) is no exception. In making Virtual Reality available on airline provided or customer owned devices, airlines can boost their IFE offering by improving their passengers’ on-board experience.”
IdeaNova plans to demonstrate their first INPLAY VR offerings at the APEX Expo in Boston, offering two films: Invasion and ASTEROIDS!, the likes of which both come from Boabab Studios. As for the ongoing development of VR products, Siska had this to say:
“The headset industry is maturing rapidly, which is essential for more mainstream adoption of this technology. We’ll see lighter, smaller and high-performing devices that won’t be much different from regular eye glasses."
There seems to be no set date for the launch of the INPLAY VR program, nor has IdeaNova provided a list of airlines that will offer VR entertainment to passengers. However, the program looks to make use of IdeaNova's pre-existing line of INPLAY streaming options and media players. As for the concept itself, there's little doubt that VR options will be an attractive alternative for in-flight entertainment.