I had the pleasure of visiting Neutral Digital at their London studio earlier this month to check out some of their virtual reality experiences. Neutral Digital is an immersive technology content creation house specialising in aviation - they build fully interactive VR experiences for marketing, design and training purposes.
Me wearing an Oculus Rift to experience the Airline Cabin VR by Neutral Digital
Diving first into their Air Canada Boeing 787 marketing experience, I was amazed by how realistic everything felt - I genuinely believed I was aboard one of their Business class cabins. Neutral Digitaldeveloped this experience to be used with Oculus Rift hardware, and the fusion between hyper-realistic interactions and true-to-life visuals is unlike anything I’ve seen before.
I can see exactly how important a medium virtual reality, especially when it’s this good, is going to become as part of airlines’ digital marketing efforts. From checking a bag using haptic controllers at the beginning, to exploring Air Canada’s route network across a spinnable globe, to eating 3D scanned food in Business and then throwing snowballs into a Canadian lake, I got a very clear and positive sense of the Air Canada brand and what it’s really like to fly with them.
Choosing Air Canada B787 cabin to experience the cabin VR
Inside Air Canada B787 Business Class with meals served
We then moved on to take a look at Neutral Digital’s recent AIX Hamburg collaboration with seat designer PearsonLloyd. This time they were using VR as a new, more interactive way of communicating part of the cabin or seat design process - Neutral Digital created a bespoke branded Boeing 787 Economy cabin and filled it with PearsonLloyd’s high-quality Economy class seat designs. To make the experience even more exciting, many elements of the cabin were interactive in totally new ways, including a special IFE system - I was able to pull products out of the screen and use them and listen to music, and a virtual flight attendant in the top right hand corner of my screen introduced me to the new cabin and guided me through my virtual flight.
VR of PearsonLloyd's high quality Economy cabin design
Spending this time with Neutral Digital really showed me how virtual reality is set to transform the way we understand the experience of flying as consumers. Not only this, but this technology also clearly sets a new bar in communicating a specific in-cabin environment in a truly sensory way - traditionally, so many airlines have spent vast amounts of money on sending cabin cross-sections across the world to trade shows, but now they have access to something a lot more scalable and a lot more representative of what it’s actually like to spend hours aboard one of their planes.
Greg Caterer, Neutral Digital’s Chief Operating Officer, added, “When properly executed, full VR is set to be a game-changer for the aviation sector. Putting the passenger in control builds emotional connections with a brand and, ultimately, increases purchase consideration because the user feels they understand the brand and its experience that much better. We focus exclusively on fully interactive, ‘true’ VR because creating something that’s as fun, engaging and immersive as it is informative is, we believe, the only way to truly delight and engage people”.
Check out the interactive video below to experience the Future of Aviation VR.