How virtual reality brought the cockpit into the office for Honeywell Aerospace

Far from being a gimmick for the airplane manufacturer, virtual reality has enabled it to give prospective clients a vivid visualisation of its technology without needing to leave the office.

Q. What potential do you feel VR has for transforming the customer experience?

We constantly try to improve the user experience and virtual reality is the latest innovation we’ve adopted for this purpose in sales and marketing. We use virtual reality as a new tool that provides a virtual glimpse onto an operating airplane, which allows us to create a fully immersive environment for customers to experience our technology even from a meeting room.

Q. What results have you seen to date?

We have seen and heard fantastic feedback from our sales team and customers on how VR has improved the discussion on our technology. For example, we are able to bring a Honeywell cockpit to a closed-door meeting without the airplane, and even non-pilots can view and experience our avionics. This greatly helps the sales team demonstrate the value and benefits of our technology.

Q. What have you learnt from your work so far?

We’ve found the VR experience is a great conversation starter at trade shows and events, as it engages customers in a more interactive, hands-on way.

The virtual reality market has come on leaps and bounds in a short space of time. New devices such as the HTC Vive, which will allow users to walk and move through a virtual reality environment, and the Merge VR, which uses a Bluetooth handset and remote control, are due for release imminently. The key to Honeywell’s success will be to adapt quickly to these new pieces of technology to ensure the virtual reality experience stays current for users.

Q. How do you anticipate using VR to continue to enhance the user experience going forward?

We recognise the VR sector as critical to the aviation industry, and are looking at other applications to showcase next-generation avionics across a number of industry sectors that will ultimately help customers visualise the future of their fleet. We also believe this technology presents huge potential to develop learning tools and training simulations across our multiple business sectors in the future