Alaska Airlines is piloting its first class passengers flying between Seattle, Boston and San Diego with the Allosky Cinematic virtual reality headset. This should replace the regular screens that are used for in-flight entertainment. These headsets are not going to be used for real VR entertainment, but mainly to watch 3D and 360 films. For people who have ever had VR glasses and are already green: you can also use the headsets to view 2D movies.
It is basically a very good idea, because not only do these glasses make it easier to watch film in any position (and thus easier to fall asleep, but usually the real goal of people in an airplane) but it the viewers also give their privacy. Not only does nobody see what you are looking at (they also have nothing to do with it), but you also do not see anyone else. Presumably during the test also invested in crew who can tap people very carefully so they will not be scared if they get an outside stimulus.
The device is not a cheap stuff: with HD resolution for each eye, the screens are more than enough for films and with a Snapdragon chip in them, so the short VR films made especially for society will be fine their right. Also, passengers can ‘just’ watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube in the glasses, so as long as they can pay the in-flight WiFi (if not already included with the glasses for now) there is more than enough to see.
It is not the first time that an airline company does a test with VR glasses, but Alaska Air says it is the first time that the glasses are offered as bona fide in-flight entertainment, at least in America. Whether this will be an option on more flights is doubtful: VR headsets are expensive, have to be cleaned seriously each time the flight is over and are quite susceptible to theft. Not something that you will soon see in every box in Economy.