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Apple’s Vision Pro headset debuts as inflight entertainment on luxury airline

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Forget about seatback screens, tablets or smartphones.

A new generation of inflight entertainment is about to take flight on Beond. That’s because this Dubai-based carrier — a self-proclaimed “premium leisure airline” — will officially become the world’s first to offer Apple’s Vision Pro headset to its passengers.

Beginning in July, Beond will stock its jets with Apple’s new headset for inflight entertainment. These devices will be loaded with the airline’s existing onboard content of movies and TV shows, and Beond is also creating a custom experience that it says will transform your surroundings into a fully immersive backdrop of what you can expect in the Maldives (the airline’s main base).

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The airline is working with resorts in the Maldives to capture footage that’ll be converted into this immersive environment and displayed once you put on the Vision Pro headset.

MATHEEN FAIZ/BEOND

At the outset, Beond will only offer Vision Pro headsets to select passengers for the duration of the flight. The airline isn’t buying enough devices for the entire plane; rather, they’ll only be available (at launch) to those that pay for the highest fare class, the so-called Opulence class.

After all, at $3,499, Vision Pros don’t come cheap, even for an airline that exclusively offers pricey business-class seating on its entire fleet.

“Offering the Apple Vision Pro is another step in our vision of delivering a premium travel experience to our customers, from the start to finish of their journey. We’re proud to be the first airline to deploy the technology,” Beond’s Chairman and CEO, Tero Taskila, said in a statement.

Beond commenced operations late last year, offering service to the Maldives from various destinations in the Middle East and Europe. The airline operates Airbus A320 family aircraft, and the jets are exclusively configured with business-class lie-flat pods.

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Beond’s business model caters to deep-pocketed travelers looking to arrive to their Maldivian vacation in style. So, it’s little surprise that this carrier would be the first to invest in Apple’s Vision Pro headset to upgrade its inflight entertainment experience.

Ever since the device’s unveiling last year, it’s pretty clear that Apple designed the Vision Pro with travel in mind. Aside from the device appearing in an airplane cabin in Apple’s first ads, the headset has a built-in travel mode that automatically adjusts the sensors to compensate for aircraft movement.

APPLE

To date, I’ve seen a handful of early adopters bring the device with them during travel. While the device has received mixed reception since its launch on Feb. 2, the overwhelming number of travelers I’ve spoken to have enjoyed using the device during flights.

Once you put it on, you can fully immerse yourself in your content and block out all distractions, such as seat neighbors, crowded aisles and loud passengers.

Personally, I demoed the device — and shared my thoughts — before its launch. While the use case for travel is undoubtedly appealing, the cost and size might not make it a must-have right now.

That said, I did just pick one up for some real-world use, and I’m looking forward to reporting back about my experiences.

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