Press Release: SYDNEY, AU/SAN FRANCISCO November 13, 2016: Sydney, Australia and San Francisco-based virtual reality studio Start VR launches a virtual reality app for Qantas Airways that immerses viewers into an interactive and exploratory travel experience, showcasing the services offered by the world class Australian airline.
Designed to entice viewers to travel with Qantas, the travel application gives viewers a first-person POV, providing a multi-sensory glimpse of the Vivid Sydney Festival, an unprecedented inflight experience, a front-row view of a Qantas A380 jet from the tarmac and cockpit, a virtual tour of the airlines’ First Lounge at Los Angeles International airport and a virtual escape to destination hotspots like Hamilton Island, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Kakadu National Park.
The app hosts a unique “book now” button for iOS and Android devices so viewers can transform their virtual journey into a reality by purchasing a flight to the featured destination directly from the app. There are two modes to the app: split screen for those who have a compatible headset or Google Cardboard and 2D landscape for viewing directly on a smartphone.
“For the first time, we are able to share the story of Australia to an international audience in a way that is more intimate, engaging and interactive than we have been able to tell it before,” Noted Kain Tietzel, CEO and Creative Director oat Start VR.
“The amazing audio and visuals offer international travelers to Australia a new insight into our culture, heritage and local stories.” Additional videos will be added in the coming months, offering audiences new travel content to explore.
Being the first airline to introduce VR headsets in first-class cabins and lounges, Qantas Airways continues to lead its industry in immersive technology for travel. Embracing the futuristic qualities of VR, and continuing to push the initiative, Qantas commissioned Start VR to develop the experience using its custom Startgateinterface. The proprietary platform establishes user engagement properties and enables publishers and brands to seamlessly publish multi-platform VR experiences. The app enables users to view 360° and interactive VR experiences with or without a VR headset, enabled through a simple VR On/Off switch to alternate between options.
Tietzel Notes, “Qantas has continued to prove its commitment to innovation with the Qantas VR app. The airline is among the first to leverage our Startgate VR publishing platform which is quickly becoming the standard tool for brands and content creators to build their own virtual reality experiences.”
The choose-your-own experience features thirteen clips that encourage users to explore all aspects of an exclusive travel journey with Qantas: Experience Vivid Sydney, Hamilton Island Escape, Experience Sydney Harbour, Climb Sydney Harbour, Explore Kakadu, A380 Takeoff and LAX International First Lounge. In no specific order, viewers can discover Australia’s breathtaking regions by enjoying a time-lapsed outdoor gallery of Sydney’s illuminated streets during the Vivid Sydney Festival, and take a flight to an all-inclusive trip to Hamilton Island and relaxing poolside at the luxurious Qualia resort.
Also featured are experiences such as embarking on a scuba diving excursion through the world’s largest coral reef, soaring on a helicopter tour then sailing through Whitehaven beach, enjoying panoramic views while climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and transporting to Kakadu National Park by drifting away on a sunset river cruise then delving into the watering holes at Maguk and Gunlom Falls.
About Start VR
Start VR is a cinematic virtual reality studio, creating highly immersive experiences and interactive content. A leader in longer form VR entertainment that resonates with viewers, the company is known for its compelling narratives, and best of class, blockbuster-quality visuals. Thanks to the in-depth industry knowledge and vast technical experience of Start VR’s team, the company consistently turns out polished, critically acclaimed experiences that are not soon forgotten.
Start VR’s beautifully made work is designed to spark unprecedented levels of engagement and viewer involvement, pushing the envelope to explore the storytelling capabilities of Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HTC Vive, Sony PSVR, Daydream and Google Cardboard–and platforms still to com
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.