Qantas has partnered with local developer Start VR to build a virtual reality mobile application that allows tourists to explore iconic Australian destinations prior to physical travel.
The VR app follows a three-month trial early last year of virtual reality headsets for select Qantas first class passengers.
The pilot saw 14 Samsung Gear VR headsets rolled out to first class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, and to first class cabins on certain routes. The headsets allowed travellers to take virtual tours and watch movies in 3D.
Qantas on Friday unveiled its new VR mobile app for iPhone, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive devices.
The app can be used in two modes: 3D split screen for compatible headsets or Google Cardboard, and 2D landscape on a smartphone.
It integrates with Qantas' booking system to allow travellers to book a flight to a showcased location directly from the application.
At launch the app offers 13 videos of Australian locations like Kakadu National Park, Uluru, Alice Springs, Sydney Harbour, and Hamilton Island.
The app runs on the proprietary "Startgate VR" publishing platform developed by Sydney-based Start VR, a tool that allows content creators to build virtual reality experiences.