Exploring virtual reality's future in air travel
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Sep 28, 2022
Imagine a future airline in-flight experience where travellers can enter a virtual environment via the Metaverse without leaving their seats...visiting a relaxing town square with the soothing sounds of fountains and birds, exploring a nature trail, or even meeting the avatar of a fellow passenger on a park bench.
These were among the ideas submitted by participants in the 2022 HeroX/Airbus Metaverse Challenge, which attracted more than 60 submissions from individuals, teams and companies. Initiated by Tugrul Yildirim,Transformation leader at Technology and Engineering, this challenge was posted on the HeroX crowdsourcing platform - generating more than 16,800 views and 450-plus followers.
A total prize pool of $30,000 awarded to five winners
"Enhancing the passenger experience has always been a priority at Airbus, using innovation to improve the in-flight environment," Yildirim explained. "We're already at the cutting-edge in applying disruptive multimedia technologies - including studying how virtual reality can be applied. The HeroX/Airbus Challenge was created to see how others could envision the evolution of air travel via the Metaverse."
The top submission: Capgemini's Airbus "town square"
With the passenger logging in via tablets, smartphones and virtual reality headsets, the Airbus town square would be personalised for specifics of the trip (flight destination, and time zone changes to reduce jetlag, as examples) along with such traveller specifics as age, entertainment preferences and dietary restrictions. The hub also could serve as a platform for services - from in-flight shopping and the ordering of meals to booking hotels, car rentals and other post-flight services.
NFTs and a multiplayer VR environment
Imersifi, a UK-based immersive technology company specialising in creating virtual and augmented reality applications, was another of the winners, proposing a multiplayer virtual reality environment to keep passengers entertained while flying. It would allow them to socialise with others from their seats (including taking 3D "walkarounds" together), while offering shopping and zones for gaming and relaxing.
Innovative proposals from individuals
"The HeroX/Airbus Challenge gave us an excellent view on how the public and companies are beginning to imagine the Metaverse's role in future air travel," concluded Yildirim. "We were very pleased with the variety and originality of the ideas that were submitted and we warmly thank all the participants for their contributions!"
China's Tencent ups investment in France's Ubisoft
Paris (AFP) Sept 6, 2022
Chinese tech giant Tencent is partnering with the founders of French games giant Ubisoft via a 300 million euros ($300 million) investment in their holding company, a statement said Tuesday. Ubisoft said that Tencent was to buy a 49.9 percent stake in the holding company of the Guillemot family which founded the French creator of "Assassin's Creed" and "Far Cry" among other hit games. The group was formed in 1986 and initially controlled by five brothers from the Guillemot family whose control v ... read more
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