Airbus has a long history of experimenting with and adopting new technologies, and they wanted to hear the crowd's ideas for how the metaverse could be used to provide better services for passengers traveling by air, specifically with respect to the passenger's door-to-door experience. This challenge was open to anyone with a good idea for how Airbus could use the metaverse to improve the passenger experience. In particular, these ideas and proof of concepts could lead to new productivity tools being offered to business passengers, novel entertainment options for long-haul flights, or even improved accessibility for passengers with various disabilities or needs.
Airbus knows that metaverse technologies are an exciting and attractive new field, so they did not want to design a challenge that only catered to competitors with complex technical literacy. Instead, this challenge was designed such that innovators could participate to the fullest extent of their capabilities and still stand a good chance of winning one of the five prizes offered. For the more experienced, this could be a working proof-of-concept like a short executable or a video walkthrough. But for those with only a vision for what they would like to build, they could convey their idea through other methods, such as story-boards, video recreations, or animation.
This challenge received 65 submissions and awarded a prize purse of $30,000 to five different winners. Although this challenge received a strong cohort of promising ideas, the next step would be to take the best insights from all of the winners and use them to inform any next steps that Airbus takes. Thankfully, the winning submissions provided plenty of inspiration and food for thought. Competitors tackled a variety of different potential experiences, including finding better ways to socialize and network with fellow passengers, participating in de-stressing artistic activities, and even joining the 3- dimensional 'Airbus Square' where users could benefit from diverse, guided programming and stretching their virtual legs in a larger space than the aircraft alone could allow. The results from this challenge have created connections between Airbus and talented visionaries that Airbus might not have otherwise met. Furthermore, this challenge showed how crowdsourcing can be a useful tool for both addressing complicated issues and for allowing the public to collaborate on innovations that could affect their own experiences.