Nicole Scherzinger, former Pussycat Dolls lead singer and multi-platinum selling solo artist helped British Airways launch the latest innovation, which allows customers to experience destinations in a virtual world before booking.
The carrier is using 'Oculus Rift' virtual reality headsets to bring three iconic US experiences to life through high grade, 360 degree video - riding a bucking bronco in Texas, roller skating down the boardwalk on a California beach and ice skating overlooking New York's famous skyline.
Nicole Scherzinger said "The videos that British Airways has created transport me to some of my favourite US experiences! As a frequent traveller this new technology is super exciting. I would use it to get inspiration for a holiday and check out somewhere new before I arrive. Being able to step into a destination before I actually get there is sch-amazing!
The virtual reality experiences are part of an investigation designed to trial how technology could be used by the next generation of travellers. Paolo De Renzis, British Airways' Regional Commercial Manager, Middle East and Central Asia, said, "This is just the start of what could be a huge breakthrough for future travellers. Imagine being able to walk around the hotel that you are about to book, or look around Time Square to see what attractions are nearby. It is the ultimate try before you fly. Today's travellers are checking out their destinations on TripAdvisor, street view and maps and this is the next step to let the customer actually experience destinations in the virtual world."
To create the sensation that customers have been transported to the US, BA's three virtual reality experiences have been created using real life footage filmed on location by six cameras on a specially designed rig. The six individual videos were then stitched together to create a 360 degree experience, which transports users across the Atlantic in stunning virtual reality.
Paolo De Renzis concludes, "Virtual reality technology is developing fast and will be a game changer for the travel sector. It is taking researching a business trip or holiday to the next level and soon, customers will be able to view their travel destinations from their homes as never before."