Qatar Airways has entered the metaverse with its ‘QVerse’ website experience – which has the world’s first ever metahuman cabin crew. Rose Dykins reports
In a world-first for an airline, Qatar Airways has created a metahuman cabin crew and is inviting customers to engage in its virtual reality (VR) QVerse experience on its website.
The metaverse refers to the immersive, virtual, 3D world, or worlds, where people can socialise, learn and collaborate.
Facebook’s decision to rebrand itself as Meta reflects its ambitions to position itself at the head of the metaverse realm, but many companies are exploring and developing their own Metaverse spaces – occupied by metahumans (digital humans).
As predicted by Globetrender‘s founder Jenny Southan, the metaverse has huge potential for travel brands to engage with customers while they’re at a pre-booking or pre-travel stage, and Qatar Airways’ QVerse experience exemplifies this.
The airline’s metahuman cabin crew takes the form of a digitally-created high-fidelity 3D human model named Sama – whose name is of Arabic origin and translates to “sky.”
Using their smartphones, customers can access the QVerse via qatarairways.com/QVerse. Guided by Sama, they can virtually explore Qatar Airways’ premium check-in area at Hamad International Airport as well as the cabin interior of the airline’s aircraft, including its Qsuite business class and economy class cabins.
Sama is on hand to offer an interactive customer experience by engaging with users and talking them through the various features of Qatar Airways’ business and economy class cabins (via a narrated script).
The QVerse experience was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool, and MetaHuman Creator, a cloud-based app for creating photo-realistic digital humans.
Qatar Airways’ Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said: “With physical boundaries beginning to be challenged by the metaverse on an increasingly larger scale, it is exciting to embrace a technology that enables all travel enthusiasts to enjoy a unique immersive experience of our award-winning products and services.
“Our status as the first airline to introduce a metahuman cabin crew is testament to our unwavering desire to innovate and delight our customers. We are constantly looking forward to adopting and introducing novel technologies that enhance our passengers’ complete journey.”
Other travel companies experimenting with the metaverse include hotel brands such as M Social and Citizen M. Both hotel groups recently launched pixel hotels in the metaverse, where guests can visit these virtual spaces via avatars, and sleep, work and play.