Jan 22, 2019
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Among the opportunities presented by XR, one of the most exciting is its ability to transport people to different worlds. Just put on a headset and you can cross mountains and oceans in no time, all while lounging on your couch or seated at your desk. Even if that chair is in the clouds.
Qualcomm Technologies is working with our customers to truly change the way we travel. Through a collaboration with inflight XR specialist, Skylights, we’re delivering lean-back, immersive content viewing experiences that are opening a whole new world of in-flight entertainment for passengers. And for airlines, the initiative provides an integrated technology solution to deliver superior value to passengers.
“At Skylights we wanted to disrupt the in-flight experience, and we’ve created this solution in order to bring immersive cinema onboard the aircraft,” Laurence Fornari, head of sales at Skylights, said.
A new experience for customers
Skylight is equipping premium cabin passengers with Allosky XR headsets powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Mobile Platform. The platform is engineered to deliver the power and performance required for in-flight XR entertainment with enhanced security, mobility, and integration.
Without all the bulk and wires associated with most headsets, these devices are perfect for the small space of a plane seat. They also boast 1080p per eye Full HD resolution to deliver experiences that look and feel real, because we know picture quality is the key to making XR truly immersive.
As for what you’ll be watching, the Allosky XR headsets are loaded up with 2D, 3D, and forward-facing 360-degree content. This includes a catalog of early window blockbusters, world-class series, 360-degree documentaries, and an “XR for travel” experience that jet sets premium passengers to unexpected, immersive adventures. You can even watch a world-class ballet or Cirque du Soleil, and it will feel like you’re actually in the audience. Forget the small screen on the back of your seat or holding your phone or a bulky tablet in your hand; now you can experience your own private movie theater in the clouds.
In-flight XR experiences are the perfect way to escape a long haul and maybe even curb a fear of flying, but the Skylights-Qualcomm Technologies collaboration is changing travel experiences elsewhere, too. In addition to XR headsets being provided during flights, they’ll also be available in airport lounges and aboard cruise ships.
A tech savvy value add for airlines
It’s not just passengers who will benefit from these XR experiences; airlines are loving the initiative too.
In-flight entertainment hasn’t changed much in recent years, but XR programming will potentially turn the flying experience on its head. This means airlines that offer it will be enhancing the customer experience and showing just how innovative and future-forward they are. Some airlines are expecting that this cinematic perk will prove to be a differentiator and a way to increase brand loyalty.
“Alaska has always been known as an innovative company, and we’ve always been trying to push the boundaries to try new things. And in the in-flight entertainment space, we really wanted to look beyond what we’re currently doing,” said David Scotland, product manager of in-flight entertainment and connectivity at Alaska Airlines, adding that the Allosky VR headset is the most stylish he’s seen in the industry.
In addition to recent trial flights with Alaska Airlines, SkyLights XR entertainment is deployed with other airlines such as with Air France, XL Airways, and SriLankan Airlines.
Not only is the launch of the Allosky XR headsets a "win" for members of this collaboration, it's a win for XR ecosystem players — by introducing more users to XR and showing them headsets that aren’t bulky and can support engaging, long-form content, Qualcomm Technologies is enabling its customers to bring XR to more people, creating a powerful path to mainstream consumer adoption.