Alaska Airlines Brings VR to In-Flight Entertainment


Alaska Airlines said it is the first carrier to bring SkyLights’ new Allosky Cinematic VR entertainment to North American airspace. The end-to-end solution, which enables passengers to escape to another world and enjoy 2D, 3D and forward-facing 360° films on a Full HD cinema screen, will be piloted as a First Class amenity onboard Alaska Airlines’ Seattle-Boston and Boston-San Diego routes.

“Alaska Airlines is excited to be the first airline in North America to trial virtual reality headsets as an inflight entertainment device,” said Brett Catlin, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of guest products. “We’re thrilled to partner with innovative companies like Skylights that share our desire to enhance the guest experience.”

SkyLights is an American-French company specializing in immersive in-flight entertainment. It first showcased the Allosky device, which offers Full HD resolution (1080p per eye), a sleek, lightweight design, Bluetooth and WiFi at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in September 2017. Having since commercially deployed the new solution in Europe, SkyLights is now focusing on securing deployments around the globe.

The Allosky headset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform.

In terms of content, passengers onboard the pilot flights will be able to choose from a selection of 2D and 3D blockbusters provided by SkyLights’ partners 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and EIM. Noteworthy titles include Academy Award winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Spielberg’s Ready Player One in 3D, and Ferdinand for the kids. The Allosky will also be pre-loaded with forward-facing 360° films to further differentiate the passenger journey. Especially selected for their suitability to view in flight, the short VR films cover subjects including free diving, classical music and acrobatics.

According to Hospitality Technology's 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study, when asked to share their views of the future and what emerging technologies they thought could
have the greatest impact on the restaurant customer experience, 8% of respondents named virtual reality. Meanwhile, 30% of hotels said they plan on implementing some form of virtual reality by 2019.

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