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Star Alliance trials VR technology in Paris and Rome lounges

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Passengers to Star Alliance lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport and Rome Fiumicino Airport can test out virtual reality (VR) systems that could eventually be part of the entertainment offerings on aircraft and at airport lounges globally.

Trade organisation, the Airlines Passenger Experience Association (Apex) said that between now and January 2019 travellers can use the Pico Goblin VR headsets to play games, watch films, experience destinations and meditate.

Inflight VR chief commercial officer, Raphael Baumann said the equipment could be used in lounges or on flights. “We have experiences which are only 15 minutes, but also 45-50 minute short films as well as games which can last an hour or longer,” he said.

“It’s a good mix that fits to the average stay of lounge visitors, which is close to an hour.”

Baumann said that Star Alliance’s 27 airline members — including United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Swiss — could also introduce their own branded content on the VR platform.

Iberia, a member of the Oneworld alliance, is already using Inflight VR headsets on some of its flights after initially testing them in airport lounges.

And last year Air France trialled the use of Skylights virtual reality headsets in-flight allowing passengers to “enjoy 3D and 2D films or series in their own private movie theatre in isolation from the rest of the cabin”.