As airlines consider ways to differentiate their cabins, some are turning to the virtual world — specifically, virtual reality and VR headsets.
The concept is appealing (especially for nervous fliers who would prefer to be blissfully unaware that they're even on a plane), but the physical weight of a VR headset and the length of a long-haul flight are not necessarily compatible.
But in an effort to merge VR with the reality of air travel, SkyLights — a in-flight entertainment (IFE) company — developed AlloSky.
AlloSky is an entertainment system that looks like a pair of futuristic aviator sunglasses. Wearers can watch 2D, 3D, or 180-degree videos playing right there, on the lens. But the system’s most notable feature is its streamlined design: the glasses are 60 percent lighter than previous models.
“It has always been of fundamental importance to us to offer airlines an immersive-IFE solution that leverages the best immersive headset available for the inflight use case,” SkyLights CEO David Dicko said at the product unveiling on Monday.
“We have now been able to do exactly that, using our experience from thousands of flights deployed with our current solution in the design of the AlloSky headset to meet the needs of passengers and airlines alike.”
SkyLights will stream content from 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, National Geographic, Lionsgate, and BBC to the AlloSky.
Dioptric correction (basically, optical adjustment) allows the headset to be used by people with varying eyesight capabilities. AlloSky also has the ability to be connected to a power source at the seat, so it never runs out of battery.
Air France and Air France’s airline for millennials, Joon, will be the first to receive AlloSky headsets. The headsets will be available to business class passengers for free, while passengers in the economy cabin can rent the system.