Emirates Group, AWS to build Extended Reality platform
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Emirates Group and AWS to create immersive digital experience for employees

Emirates Group and AWS to create immersive digital experience for employees

The scope of the collaboration includes the development of an Extended Reality platform, 3D virtual hubs, virtual training, gamified environments, and simulated experiences for learning

Marisha Singh
Emirates group to deploy Extended Reality

The Emirates Group wants to push the envelope in employee experience and training through digital learning. The aviation company has tied up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create immersive digital journeys for its staff, in the first such collaboration in the world, as per state news agency WAM.

Both organisations have signed an agreement to develop an immersive Extended Reality (iXR) platform and capability for the Emirates Group’s cabin crew, new joiners, and the wider industry partner community. The scope of the collaboration includes the development of 3D virtual hubs, virtual training, gamified environments, simulated experiences and more spaces for learning and collaboration, said Emirates.

The hyperreal virtual world will enable the airliner’s new recruits to visually learn about the organisation and its extensive business, the people and its culture, their own roles.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said, “We are using iXR capability that is scalable and spans across the breadth of our brands and businesses. In the first phase, iXR will help cabin crew interact and familiarise themselves with the platform in an interactive, high-fidelity 3D environment which they can explore at their convenience, leading to greater knowledge transfer and employee satisfaction. During this phase, we will also develop our employee experience using iXR to seamlessly assimilate our people within the our business, community and culture.

He added, “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.”

Emirates was one of the first airlines to use web virtual reality (VR) technology on emirates.com and its app more than six years ago, offering a 3D, 360-degree view of its aircraft cabin interiors. Emirates currently has its own VR app on the Oculus store, offering users life-size and interactive cabin interior experiences onboard Emirates’ flagship A380s and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Among its latest offerings, it has become one of the few airlines to offer free wifi onboard for its passengers.

Crafting ‘Extended Reality’ experiences

As per the details shared during the signing of the agreement, the first phase of development will see iXR in three distinct capabilities – a collaborative hub and social space; cabin crew training; and employee onboarding.

The iXR will be developed by AWS spatial computing and artificial intelligence, to deliver technical capabilities with photorealistic experiences. The experiences will be designed to meet employees in their spaces, with iXR experiences available across next-gen wearables and hand-held devices, including tablets and mobiles, with a consistent, hi-fidelity experience, streamed from the cloud.

iXR will introduce 3D interactive experience to the airline’s cabin crew by leveraging advanced technology to create an immersive environment. Hyper-simulated environments through the iXR experience will allow crew members to learn and engage from facilitators and peers, and navigate the interiors of the airline’s A380s and Boeing 777s.

iXR will feature advanced technologies including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D tool, offering developers flexible, scalable, secure, and reliable real-time capabilities on AWS’ cloud.

The environment will feature cabin service trainers, photorealistic avatars, and spatial audio for an authentic, sensory experience.

Al Opher, vice president of professional services, AWS, said, “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. We are thrilled to support the Emirates Group’s transition into the 3D Web era by offering expertise in infrastructure, AI, and spatial computing solutions as well as our AWS Professional Services colleagues – global experts in these fields – to bring this technology to life. This collaboration will further equip Emirates employees to deliver unique and consistent end-customer experiences.”

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