VIDEO – How SkyLights is leveraging VR to transform the way you travel (brought to you in collaboration with Qualcomm and Alaska Airlines) 
“It’s a fantastic product. It’s the lightest, most stylish VR headset that I’ve ever seen on the market.”, David Scotland, Manager of inflight entertainment & connectivity, Alaska Airlines

SkyLights today released a report for airline customer experience managers addressing the current opportunities and obstacles Virtual Reality In-Flight Entertainment (VR IFE) presents to airlines.

Paris, France | June 6, 2018–SkyLights today released a special report for airline customer experience managers entitled “Virtual Reality IFE : Opportunities & Obstacles Addressed”. The paper, which has been published to coincide with IATA’s first ‘Aviation Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit’ in Geneva, aims to further the industry’s understanding of VR IFE as it stands today by exploring the opportunities it offers, as well as the obstacles and respective solutions for implementation.

72% of passengers are willing to adopt VR IFE over other IFE systems, according to an independent survey referenced in the paper. This figure is particularly pronounced among millennials and frequent flyers, at 75% and 80% respectively. With this in mind, the report argues VR IFE can enable airlines to ‘stand out from the crowd and secure a sustainable competitive advantage in the midst of increased competition and increasingly empowered consumers’.

“Leveraging VR as IFE makes a lot of sense on long-haul flights. It offers a remarkable customer experience that makes time fly and creates a feeling of space and privacy onboard.”, said Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ Head of Sales and Marketing.

In exploring the obstacles of VR IFE highlighted in Gogo’s 2015 white paper ‘Head Mounted Displays for In-Flight Entertainment’, SkyLights’ study explains the solutions that are currently in place and the fast-paced progress that has been made in the field. It concludes that, thanks to advancements made in VR technology and content over the last three years, VR is now ready to deploy in-flight.

“There are two common objections to VR IFE. The first is VR sickness, which is resolved by offering a fixed-screen, cinematic experience, or carefully curating the increasingly abundant VR films that are suitable to view in-flight. At SkyLights, we do both. The second obstacle is passenger safety, which can be circumvented by enabling the cabin crew to pause VR headsets to make an announcement.”, said Rateb Zaouk, SkyLights’ Head of Operations.

While, in the short term, it is unlikely VR IFE will replace seatback screens on long-haul flights, the report explains the advantages of offering VR as an additional service to add value and differentiate the customer journey. Similarly, it suggests VR IFE and W-IFE can be combined for a low cost/high value entertainment offering.

Topics covered in the white paper include:

  • VR within the IFE ecosystem
  • Airline use cases
  • VR IFE content types
  • Opportunities for airlines
  • Obstacles to bringing VR IFE onboard

The report can be downloaded for free at;

http://www.skylights.aero/white-paper-vr-inflight-entertainment/

AIX Hamburg and Paris, France | April 10, 2018–Today, SkyLights shows it is serious on safety with the announcement of new DO-160 certification of its Allosky headset, as well as a passenger announcement integration system showcased at AIX in Hamburg. Now, with DO-160 section 21 and section 4 certification, the Allosky Cinematic VR headset stands well above the minimum safety requirements set out by the FAA and EASA regulating bodies. With these developments, SkyLights aims to consolidate its position as the partner of choice for airlines seeking to leverage VR IFE as a unique and memorable passenger experience upgrade.

Having been put through the relevant tests on the 12th March, SkyLights new Allosky headset is now certified for Decompression and Radio Frequency Radiated Emissions. With cutting-edge features, such as Full HD (1080p per eye) resolution, focus adjustment, Bluetooth, WiFi and a sleek lightweight design, the new accreditation acts to bolster Allosky commercialization.

Complimenting this certification, SkyLights is also developing an integrated passenger announcement solution that enables cabin crew to gain passengers’ full attention while using the Allosky headset. When cabin crew want to make an announcement they simply push a button that pauses content and displays a pre-set message on the Allosky devices.

“Bringing disruptive innovation to a safety first industry is a challenge. While airlines are becoming increasingly dynamic in their approach to new technology, safety will always play a fundamental role in air travel. As such we are proud to adhere to the highest standards when it comes to passenger safety.”, said David Dicko, SkyLights’ CEO.

The airline alliance trials latest VR technology to deliver innovative airport lounge experience

Dubai | November 29, 2017–SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, is teaming up with high-tech start-up SkyLights to transform its Dubai lounge into a virtual movie theater. For a limited time, customers can watch multimedia content on immersive Bravo headsets and enjoy the latest cinematic VR technology before they fly.

The two-month Dubai ‘Virtual Cinema’ pilot is part of SkyTeam’s strategy to deliver an innovative and memorable experience each time customers visit one of the alliance’s seven branded lounges around the world.

“Our Frequent Flyers are increasingly tech-savvy and because they spend so many hours in the air, we’re making sure their time on the ground is worthwhile by investing in technology to enhance the experience we offer in our lounges,” said Mauro Oretti, SkyTeam’s vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Our partnership with SkyLights gives them a chance to relax and immerse themselves in a private IMAX-style movie theater from the comfort of their airport lounge seat.”

Bravo headsets are lightweight, comfortable and offer up to six hours battery life. Customers flying on one of the SkyTeam airlines serving Dubai can request a complimentary Bravo headset and select from entertainment options that include:

  • 2D, 3D and carefully curated 180°/360° content
  • Early window blockbuster films, series and documentaries
  • A wide-angle cinema screen experience

“For many guests, it will be the first time they have experienced this remarkable new type of entertainment, making it a great opportunity to create a memorable moment with them,” said David Dicko, SkyLights CEO. “Teaming up with SkyTeam on this project is a significant step towards our mission of transforming the passenger journey both inflight and on the ground.”

SkyTeam’s Dubai lounge is available to Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers of all member airlines serving the airport: Aeroflot, Air France, and China Eastern, China Southern, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, KLM, Middle East Airlines, Saudia and Tarom.

San Francisco, CA | September 25, 2017– On 26th September SkyLights will reveal its 2nd generation immersive-IFE solution at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Long Beach. It combines the new, premium AlloSky headset, and freshly signed content partnerships with Warner Brothers, National Geographic, Lionsgate and BBC. Air France’s new airline Joon and the product and service provider gategroup are among the launch partners for the new solution, which is tailored towards upgrading and differentiating the business class experience.

The AlloSky headset is the latest addition to SkyLights’ portfolio, and was co-created through the company’s new partnership with immersive headset producer Allomind. AlloSky brings a host of new features, including full HD resolution (1080p each eye), a 60% weight reduction to its predecessor (the Bravo Theater), and dioptric correction to cater to the eyesight of all passengers. Furthermore, it can be connected in-seat; meaning reduced cost and logistical complexity for airlines.

In terms of content, the new partnerships compliment SkyLights’ longstanding supporters, 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks, to offer a strengthened selection of films, series and documentaries in 2D, 3D and carefully curated 180°.

“Our new solution is guided by our learning from thousands of flights commercially deployed with our first generation. We have identified what matters most and have kept this knowledge at the core of the 2nd generation solution. It’s more premium, more comfortable and has streamlined logistics. We believe this is a breakthrough, making the future of in-flight entertainment a reality today.” said David Dicko, SkyLights’ CEO.

SkyLights is running an early-access launch program as part of the solution’s inauguration. Among the participants are Air France and gategroup, with Air France set to deploy the solution early next year through its new, millennial-focused airline Joon. Other members of the program are to be announced in the near future.

To learn more at the APEX Expo, visit SkyLights on booth #566.

Paris, France | June 22, 2017– Last Thursday, SkyLights was delighted to have been awarded ‘Les As De L’Innovation’ at the Paris Air Forum. The award was presented by Air France CEO, Franck Terner, in recognition of SkyLights’ entrepreneurial journey, innovative solution and market potential.

The news of this achievement came just hours after Air France-KLM CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac, took the stage at Vivatech, Paris, to reveal the airline’s plans to nurture new innovation. Through its brand new ‘T3 Fundraiser’ programme, Air France will invest in innovative companies, with SkyLights being named the first to benefit.

In other news, AccorHotels Group also announced at VivaTech that it would partner with SkyLights to launch a pilot of its immersive entertainment solution in the executive rooms of Novotel, La Defense. The programme will start this Autumn, and will give guests the opportunity to enjoy 2D and 3D films and series in their own personal movie theatre.

San Francisco, CA | March 31, 2017– Skylights upgrades its pioneering immersive entertainment solution with the announcement of an expanded content catalogue in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE). GEE is the world’s leading content supplier for the commercial aviation industry. Through GEE’s Entertainment in Motion (EIM) distribution subsidiary, SkyLights will feature award-winning films, such as La La Land and Moonlight, in their immersive theatre.

This announcement comes at the same time SkyLights names Display Interactive as a strategic Wireless-IFE partner. Display Interactive is a pioneer in W-IFE solutions for airlines and the new agreement jumpstarts the next generation of in-flight entertainment; immersive entertainment with wireless streaming capabilities.

Finally, SkyLights announces the launch of the new ‘Bravo 2nd Gen’ headset, which will be showcased for the first time at AIX in Hamburg. This latest iteration of the immersive video headset delivers superior comfort and design improvements, and is also compatible with eye correction glasses.

“In-Flight Entertainment, as we know it, is being challenged from all sides,” said David Dicko, SkyLights’ CEO. “I believe our partnership with Display Interactive, combining W-IFE with immersive entertainment paves the way for a new future in IFE. At the same time, SkyLights’ partnership with Global Eagle and launch of the Bravo 2nd Gen headset are two huge steps towards upgrading the business class experience with premium entertainment never before possible”

These latest developments come as part of SkyLights’ new focus on upgrading the business class experience and improving airlines’ Net Promoter Score among their premium passengers.

Palo Alto, CA | October 20, 2016– SkyLights , offering virtual reality (VR) on planes as inflight entertainment (IFE), proudly announces its new Bravo VR headset.

The new Bravo VR headset offers immersive 2D and 3D cinema, cinematic VR support, a revamped headset finish, the capability for wireless streaming, and a new graphical user interface with multilingual audio and subtitle support.
Skylights’ launching partners include 20th Century Fox and multiple airlines. Two of those airlines, as well as a fleet of private jets, will deploy the new Skylights VR IFE solution by the end of 2016. Three other airlines are performing in-flight pilot campaigns.

Roissy CDG | February 1, 2016– XL Airways has begun to test a new in-flight entertainment system with immersive cinema glasses. Skylights, a French start-up, developed them specially to satisfy inflight requirements. They offer passengers a unique cinema experience at 30 000 feet. XL Airways is the first airline to test this type of device in Europe.

XL Airways constantly explores new IFE solutions. Since its launch in 2015 in partnership with the Parisian company Interactive Mobility, the rental service of Samsung tablets is a clear success. The airline recently increased the number of tablets offered for rend in economy class. These are still graciously offered in Premium Galaxie class.

This time, XL Airways partners up with the French start-up Skylights to test a new IFE system with immersive cinema glasses. The goal is to offer passengers an immersive experience akin to sitting right in the middle of a movie theater, for 2D and 3D movie-viewing. Skylights’ glasses are suited for inflight use in terms of weight, size, autonomy, and content security.

XL Airways is the first airline to choose Skylights’ glasses, and more globally, to test this kind of IFE system in economy class.

A first test phase has been conducted on four flights towards Antilles and Reunion island. Feedbacks are particularly enthusiastic.

As the first phase went particularly well, a second test phase will be set up on a larger scale in the coming months, to potentially start commercialization in the course of the year.

“IFE is nowadays one of the main concerns of passengers”, says Laurent Magnin, CEO of XL Airways. “We closely monitor innovation in this field, and that is why we are proud to be the first to offer Skylights’ glasses. In accordance with our identity, we don’t have individual seatback screens but want our passengers to either bring their own device, rent a tablet, and soon rent immersive cinema glasses.”

“We are very happy to launch our product with XL Airways. This airline is daring and creative, and it perfectly corresponds to our way of doing business. We are particularly impressed by their reactivity”, adds David Dicko, CEO of Skylights. “We want to provide each passenger with a high quality viewing experience so that passengers no longer feel like they are wasting perfectly good movies by watching them onboard. By wearing the SkyTheater, you’re immediately teleported into your own private movie theater! It’s a fantastic technology and we want to make it available to all traveling cinema enthusiasts!.”