Emirates and AWS
Al Opher, Vice President of Professional Services - AWS; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive - Emirates Airline & Group Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates Group and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have inked a deal to develop an immersive Extended Reality (iXR) platform for the airline’s employees.

The iXR platform, which is set to be lunched later this year, will feature 3D virtual hubs, virtual training, gamified environments, and simulated experiences.

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iXR, powered by AWS spatial computing and artificial intelligence, will deliver technical capabilities with photorealistic experiences. “iXR experiences will be available across next-gen wearables and hand-held devices, including tablets and mobiles, with a consistent, hi-fidelity experience, streamed from the cloud,” Emirates said in a statement on Wednesday.

In the first phase, iXR will have three distinct capabilities – a collaborative hub and social space; cabin crew training; and employee onboarding.

Emirates staff can experience the interactive brand experiences at the Emirates Virtual Hub.

Immersive experience

iXR will introduce a 3D interactive experience to the airline’s cabin to create an immersive environment. Here, crew can experience a digital universe with virtual classrooms, engage with and learn from facilitators and peers, and navigate the intricate interiors of the airline’s flagship A380s and Boeing 777s. The environment will feature cabin service trainers, photorealistic avatars, and spatial audio for sensory experience.

According to Emirates, the hyperreal virtual world will enable its new recruits to learn more about the organisation and its business, the people and its culture, their own roles, and living in Dubai.

"iXR, which is on-track for launch later in the year, will establish us as the first and only airline with an embedded extended reality platform connecting its operations,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer. “It reflects our commitment to spearhead and entrench innovation and cutting-edge technologies in aviation for the benefit of our customers, communities and the industry."

iXR will feature advanced technologies including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D tool.

"Extended Reality (XR) is a rapidly emerging technology that will propel the aviation industry into the future. It will have a profound impact on training, design, and innovative service propositions in safe environments that are immersive, performance-oriented, and efficient,” said Al Opher, VP of Professional Services, AWS. “Together, we are revolutionizing the travel industry and raising the bar for new, exemplary experiences."