KT Corp., South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, will develop virtual reality (VR) entertainment service for air passengers jointly with Jin Air Co. and Hanjin Information Systems & Telecommunications (HIST) Co.
KT signed an agreement with Jin Air, the only widebody low-cost carrier operation in South Korea, and HIST for the new VR service optimized for air safety, security and other special in-flight needs. The nation’s top telecom company will provide its VR service platform, Super VR, for Jin Air passengers to access to its massive immersive media contents.
“We can enjoy a new experience of entertainment 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. Passengers will be able to borrow VR headsets to view latest movies in ultra-high resolution, and travel, sports and other VR contents in 360-degree images.
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.
The tripartite collaboration has been prompted by increases in mid- and long-distance flights of domestic low-cost carriers who are seeking in-flight entertainment systems. Lacking personal video screens in their aircraft, many of the carriers are expected to offer innovative passenger service with standalone VR headsets.
KT has been at the forefront of applying immersive media service to travel, leisure, education, medicine, property and many other areas, laying the groundwork for B2B collaboration and thereby expanding the immersive media market.
The network operator provides uncommon pleasure and experience 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 service to airliners.
Jin Air, a leading Korean low-cost carrier, already has introduced a pilot project of in-flight VR service, the first in the nation. It plans to provide its passengers with differentiated in-flight entertainment with KT’s VR service on a variety of routes.