Lufthansa’s passenger engagement takes off with VR
Last year Lufthansa trialled Avegant’s Glyph video glasses in the business lounge at Frankfurt Airport, offering passengers a cinema experience. Back in 2017, the glasses were awarded the Innovation Award Honoree at the CES technology tradeshow.
The Glyph, as the headset is often referred to, can be used anywhere and for video content or audio, thanks to a separate audio input. “The special feature of the Glyph is the projection directly on the retina, which is more pleasant for the wearer compared to a screen”, says Avegant vice president of business development Eric Trabold.
Lufthansa has focused on VR as a way to engage passengers. Part of another trial last year saw economy class passengers experience premium economy class through an immersive VR experience.
“The spatial impression, such as leg room, gives a much better feeling of what an upgrade means,” explains Lufthansa spokesperson Florian Graenzdoerffer. “As part of the gate promotion, we were able to achieve an increase in upgrades of up to 50%.”
The airline also offers Lufthansa VR, a virtual reality app for mobile devices, which provides an easy introduction to virtual reality and 360-degree videos. “All you need is a pair of cardboard goggles with two lenses in addition to the smartphone,” explains Graenzdoerffer. “Suddenly the viewer stands on the beach of Mauritius, at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York or on the Wan Chai Market in Hong Kong.”
Graenzdoerffer says virtual reality opens up new possibilities of representation. “While a photo or video faithfully reproduces travel destinations, VR applications also arouse additional emotions,” he says.
“Look around in an airplane today. Almost every traveller has a smartphone or tablet in his hands. In a few years, it may be VR glasses – we have to be prepared for this with our content on board.”