Hainan Airlines, a significant player in the Chinese aviation industry, has ushered in a new era of in-flight entertainment by offering passengers state-of-the-art augmented reality (AR) glasses from Rokid on selected routes. This ground-breaking initiative marks the first widespread application of AR glasses on flights, providing passengers with a unique entertainment experience featuring 3D movies, e-books, and simple games. The move is a significant departure from the traditional built-in monitors that airlines have been using for decades.
Rokid, a Chinese tech start-up, sees this partnership more as a stepping-stone to popularize AR technology among consumers than a major commercial venture. Misa Zhu, Rokid's founder and CEO, revealed that the company is in active talks with other airlines, including at least one prominent international operator, for similar collaborations. More announcements are expected in the coming months.
AR technology is gaining traction in the travel industry, as demonstrated by Apple's Vision Pro VR headset, which includes a 'travel mode' designed for airplane use. However, the Rokid AR glasses, each priced at over 3,000 yuan (approximately $420) and weighing just 75 grams, are lighter and more affordable than the hefty Vision Pro headset, which retails for about $3,500.