Forget hot towels, this airline lets first-class passengers play games with Gear VR headsets

Clearly eager to mark itself out from the competition when it comes to in-flight entertainment, Qantas is lining up to supply its passengers with Samsung’s Gear VR headset for a bit of 360-degree long-haul awesomeness.

That’s right, forget seat-back screens and iPads, Australia’s national carrier wants you to sit back and relax with a Note 4-equipped virtual reality headset strapped to your face.

Related: Turn your Note 4 into an Oculus Rift with Samsung’s Gear VR

But banish from your mind the image of a cabin full of hundreds of passengers simultaneously experiencing the delights of this fast-developing tech, for Qantas is only offering the device to those at the pointy end of the plane.

This one’s for first-class ticket holders only, but should you have the chance to fly in the big seats, your Gear VR gadget will initially offer immersive previews of Qantas destinations alongside information on new products and services from the airline. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of its new First Lounge at LAX.

It’s starting out as a three-month trial, though our guess is this particular in-flight offering will be around for some time to come.

The Gear VR headsets will be offered to fliers at Qantas flight lounges in Sydney and Melbourne from February, as well as on select long-haul services using its A380 aircraft from March.

Related: Hands on with the Gear VR (video)

Qantas marketing executive Olivia Wirth described the inclusion of a virtual reality headset as part of its in-flight entertainment service as “an industry first,” adding that the technology should provide the Aussie carrier with a new way to connect with passengers.

Certainly as time goes on, the airline could consider offering more enhanced content with the headset. Just think, nervous fliers could immerse themselves in a thoroughly ground-based audio-visual experience, while aviation enthusiasts could enjoy a cockpit experience with real turbulence thrown in for good measure. Give it to passengers in coach and they can pretend they’re in the plush seats up front. What’s not to like?

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!