August 11, 2020 – KT Corp., South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has today announced that it will develop virtual reality (VR) entertainment service for air passengers jointly with Jin Air Co. and Hanjin Information Systems & Telecommunications (HIST) Co., allowing passengers on flights to view immersive media content via the ‘KT Super VR’ service.
KT signed an agreement with Jin Air, the South Korea-based low-cost carrier operator, and HIST, for a new VR service optimized for air safety, security and other special in-flight needs. The telecom company will provide its VR service platform, Super VR, for Jin Air passengers, allowing them to access its immersive media content offering and enjoy in-flight VR.
“We can enjoy a new experience of entertainment based on VR contents not just at home or places but while traveling by plane,” said Kang Kook-Hyun, head of KT’s Business Group. “Like this partnership with Jin Air and HIST, KT will pioneer industrial innovation by developing the best VR entertainment service for air travelers.”
The new VR service will begin with international routes mostly used by family travelers before the end of this year, according to the company. Passengers will be able to borrow VR headsets to view the latest movies in ultra-high resolution, as well as view travel, sport and other VR content in 360-degree images.
The headsets used appear to be the Pico G2 4K virtual reality HMDs (pictured below), which offer a standalone 3DoF (three degrees of freedom) experience for users.
Currently, the three companies are customizing the Super VR platform for connection to aircraft computer servers. In-flight public announcements will be sent with VR images to passengers wearing headsets. The service will also be optimized for emergency control for convenience and safety.
KT Corp stated that the collaboration has been prompted as a result of increases in mid and long-distance flights of domestic low-cost carriers who are seeking in-flight entertainment systems. Since many aircraft within low-cost carriers’ fleets can lack personal video screens, many carriers are now expected to offer innovative passenger services with standalone VR headsets, the company added.
KT Corp also provides experiences through its VR entertainment service to clients of hotels, express buses, cable cars and passenger boats. Its collaboration with Jin Air is KT’s first step in bringing its immersive media technology and services to airliners though.
Jin Air has already introduced a pilot project of in-flight VR service, and plans to provide its passengers with differentiated in-flight entertainment options through KT’s VR service on a variety of routes.
Image credit: KT Corp. / Pico
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.