Airbus says that virtual reality tours of cabin concepts, using 3D glasses are really working for its customers.

The tours, developed through a collaboration of virtual reality experts in-house and Airbus’ cabin marketing team, are proving to be a success with visitors to the airframe manufacturer’s facility and trade show attendees.

During virtual cabin tours, visitors can interact with the environment, pulling out galley units, and zoom in on cabin details. Other apps let customers compare seat colours, mood lighting designs and other cabin decorative and trim options.

Airbus representatives can join customers on their tours by using tablets.

“This way, we can answer questions directly and point out differences between module versions, for example,” explains Airbus’ Dieter Kasch, who worked with the Airbus virtual reality team to deliver the virtual reality customer experience after a three month  development period.

Airbus first launched these demonstrations at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg last year, which Airbus says garnered enough attention that it was encouraged to go into further developments of the system.

In September of last year, Airbus offered virtual reality tours with more features and information at the APEX EXPO cabin event in Portland, Oregon.

“We couldn’t take the large physical mock-ups, but we were able to present all Airbus aircraft types complete with a cabin and all innovations,” explained Denise Kühl of Airbus’ aircraft interiors marketing team.

“Our stand was more successful than ever at this important cabin event. The glasses were a big hit.”–Denise Kühl, Airbus

Airbus says it will deploy a total of 15 sets of virtual reality glasses to local customer support and airline marketing teams around the globe in Dubai and Washington, D.C., followed by Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong.


Though I respect the opinion of those who say that immersive in-flight entertainment is the next big wave, I just can’t see it. (Sorry for the pun.) However, for applications like this–given the great expense of producing cabin mockups–I believe it is an elegant and brilliant solution.

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