Airbus is providing immersive experiences with the company’s passenger cabins of tomorrow – leveraging “smart glasses” that integrate state-of-the-art 3D data technology for virtual, interactive tours of future aircraft interiors and their advanced functionalities.
“Visits” with smart glasses – developed by Airbus virtual reality experts together with the company’s cabin marketing team – already are proving to be a major success with customers during trips to Airbus facilities, as well as with trade show attendees.
At the heart of the smart glasses is a high-resolution smartphone, which features a special Airbus app. The smartphone is clipped to a headset and once the app is launched, the virtual reality experience can begin. By focusing on a specific point, the user decides where to go – choosing from different aircraft, first or business class, galley concepts and more.
Inside the virtual cabin, visitors can pull out galley units, take a closer look at the lavatory or zoom in on details. Additional apps offer the possibility to compare seat colours, mood lighting designs and other options. Move your head up, down, or to the side and your view moves along the virtual cabin wall accordingly.
While the customer is exploring the cabin, an Airbus representative can follow his or her path on a tablet. “This way, we can answer questions directly and point out differences between module versions, for example,” said Airbus’ Dieter Kasch, who last year – along with his virtual reality team – brought the smart glasses to maturity during a period of only three months.
The demonstrator was first used at the Aircraft Interiors Expo held April 2015 in Hamburg, Germany and generated significant attention – leading to further development. By the following September, when Airbus attended the APEX EXPO cabin event in Portland, Oregon, USA, the glasses already offered a much wider range of information.
“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.”
Soon, 15 sets of smart glasses will be in operation worldwide with Airbus’ local customer support and airline marketing teams in Dubai and Washington, D.C. – to be followed by Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong.