How Is The Metaverse Being Used In Aviation?
The inaugural Dubai Metaverse Assembly takes place on 28th and 29th September 2022. Expecting to bring together over 300 regional and international experts, the potential applications of the metaverse will be explored. The event will delve into the potential uses of the metaverse on logistics, retail, education, healthcare, and aviation.
What is the metaverse?
Everybody is talking about the metaverse. It is predicted to be a huge area of growth in the travel industry with the metaverse market in travel and tourism expecting to increase by $188.24 billion from 2021 to 2026. But what exactly is the metaverse and how is it already being used within aviation?
In short, the metaverse is “used to describe a combination of the virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality worlds accessed through a browser or headset, which allows people to have real time interactions and experiences across distance.” It is expected to connect humans around the world on an unprecedented scale.
How is it being used in aviation?
The metaverse itself is in its infancy. However, even at this early stage the aviation industry has begun to incorporate it in various ways:
- Qatar Airways launched QVerse. QVerse, a virtual reality experience, enables users to virtually tour the Premium Check-in area at Hamad International Airport as well as virtually explore the cabin interior. They are the first global airline to introduce a MetaHuman cabin crew who offers interactive customer experience.
- Emirates has revealed plans to invest $10 million into building “signature brand experiences” in the metaverse.
- London Heathrow Airport partnered with Chanel and their “beauty spaceship,” where passengers could try on their products virtually.
- Vueling, a Spanish low-cost carrier plans to offer customers the opportunity to visualise their travels. Passengers will also be able to track carbon emissions and book “carbon positive” transportation through the metaverse.
- Etihad and Emirates are bringing virtual reality to the physical airport, letting lounge visitor interact entertain themselves with VR headsets before their flights.
- British Airways has introduced VR as part of its in-flight entertainment in first-class.
NFTs as currency
Purchases made in the metaverse can translate through to the real world. This facilitates one of the interesting ways aviation is getting involved with the metaverse – Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
NFTs “use cryptocurrencies’ blockchains to sell original versions of digital artefacts.” Within the aviation industry, these are being used as a form of currency.
Air Europa partnered with block-chain distribution company TravelX to release the world’s first NFT flight ticket series known as NFTickets. The first ticket sold at auction went for $1 million.
Other airports and airlines including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines are already looking at the metaverse.
Although the metaverse is still a work in progress, aviation has already begun to integrate it into industry in a range of creative, exciting ways which we will only be seeing more of in the future.
At this year’s World Aviation Festival a presentation by Tim McMullen from Teleperformance will discuss “The metaverse air experience” and a panel will discuss “what does the future of loyalty hold when integrating new opportunities in tech such as crypto, NFTs, and the metaverse?”
Article by Jess Brownlow
For more content relating to the metaverse take a look at Eric Leopold’s article here