When it comes to attracting passengers, on-board entertainment is one of the major points of leverage for airlines these days. Cue the latest innovation in this regard: the immersive headset that plunges travellers into a movie theatre… up among the clouds!
Spending 8 or 12 hours on a plane can be a real grind… so imagine being ensconced in your seat but at the same time oblivious to the noise of the jet engines, unable to see the other passengers, and unaware of the toing and froing of the hostesses. Basically, it’s as if you’re somewhere else, immersed in a whole other world. What world? The world of cinema, no less!
Compared to today’s XXL flat screens, small personal televisions don’t really cut the mustard… So to offer a unique, high-quality and optimised viewing experience, French start-up Skylights has developed the SkyTheater headset. Its USP? It offers passengers an immersive experience where they can enjoy 2D or 3D films as if there were actually at the cinema. On account of its low weight, size and battery life (approximately 6 hours), this device has been designed specifically for in-flight usage.
Currently, this headset is in test phase with several airlines. XL Airways, for instance, has offered it to passengers on flights to the Antilles and Réunion. And as this experiment proved a success, it will soon be conducted on a larger scale, with full-scale roll-out possible this year.
In addition to passenger entertainment, the SkyTheater possesses other assets likely to appeal to airlines… The system is apparently much cheaper to run than the current entertainment provision. What’s more, if they can use it to show advertising or offer it for hire to passengers, it could prove an efficient way of diversifying their revenue streams. At some point, the headset is likely to go on sale to the general public… But until then, the sky’s the limit!