No matter how many cool movies, music videos, or lightsaber simulators we see, virtual reality is still going to be a hard sell for the mainstream — not only do the headsets look weird, they require you to actively block out the world and people around you. But Samsung might just have hit upon the perfect use case by hooking up with Australia's biggest airline; the Gear VR will be offered to first-class passengers on certain Qantas flights from mid-March, and in airport lounges a month earlier.
The most socially acceptable VR location ever
Think about it. Not only are airplanes and airports terrible places filled with strangers that you will feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever in shutting out of your life for all eternity, they're also maybe the only public location where it's socially acceptable to strap an opaque black mask to your eyes and zone out for several hours. It'd still be odd at first, no doubt, but I can't think of any other place in the world I'd feel less awkward wearing an Oculus Rift in the presence of other humans.
Unfortunately, the entertainment lineup so far appears largely limited to first-person VR tours of the LAX first-class lounge, footage of an A380 landing, and sponsored content from tourism partners in Qantas destinations — you won't be deflecting lasers in your seat just yet. (And, on reflection, it might be kind of hard to turn around 180 degrees when you're forced to keep your seatbelt on mid-turbulence anyway.) But really, this is just the first step to an inevitable future where the brutal realities of long-haul travel can be virtually switched off in an instant. Bring it on.