It can be difficult to keep children entertained on long-haul flights, but a new technology may help, in the form of an immersive virtual reality (VR) entertainment system created specifically to entertain younger flyers. The system, named Skykids, is an immersive VR entertainment system created especially to entertain children aged 6 to 12 on long-haul flights, with a range of 2D, 3D and forward-facing 360° films.
The system is being launched by SkyLights, a French developer of VR headset technology, which has been trialling the system with XL Airways, a small French airline with a fleet of four A330s. The trial began on July 1st across the fleet, and with the parties having reported “significant success” thus far using premium catalog content curated especially for kids (in partnership with 20th Century Fox), the service will continue beyond its initial planned period of the 2018 summer holiday season schedules.
“Skykids has got off to a fantastic start. Demand has outstripped our predictions, with the service oversubscribed on just about every flight”, said Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ head of sales and marketing.
According to a study commissioned by Emirates in 2017, children under 12 become bored 50 minutes into long-haul flights. With keeping children entertained identified as parents’ biggest concern when flying, and unruly kids voted the second most annoying type of passenger in Expedia’s 2017 passenger study, Skylights saw saw the 6-12 age range as a key target for entertainment.
“Customer feedback has been nothing but positive since we introduced Skykids”, stated Lucie Deynoux, XL Airways’ product marketing manager. “As the device is the same as regular Skylights headsets, there was no need to retrain our cabin crew, which made for a smooth test, which we look forward to expanding. I am convinced that the design is an important part of the success of the service. It makes passengers curious and drives sales. This is where we can say that Skykids has every reason to succeed. The device is right, the design is on point and the content is relevant to the audience”.
If you’re interested in immersive IFE, look out for a great feature in the September 2018 issue of Aircraft Interiors International.