Skylights' In-Flight VR Systems Will End Dull Journeys


Flights are never much fun, but a virtual reality headset from Skylights may change that. The company’s Bravo headset is turning heads with its alternative approach to in-flight entertainment units. With the ability to play both 2D and 3D movies, the invention may finally give passengers a chance to ditch the back-of-seat screens.

The company, which demonstrated its invention at Monday’s Y Combinator startup presentation, was founded in 2014, and told TechCrunch that it’s already fitted 100 flights on four airlines. CEO and co-founder David Dicko has 10 years’ experience as an airline pilot, so the team knows a thing or two about the industry.

The headsets are a notable step down from something like the Oculus Rift. That headset uses a 1200 by 1080 resolution per eye, while the Skylights system is just 540p. That’ll do for the journey, but we’re unlikely to see VR fans booking flights just to try out the greatest tech. The onboard storage can hold 40 high-definition movies, and Skylight has teamed up with big names like 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks for distribution.

Virtual reality is still in its relative infancy, but the tech world is already exploring ways to make them more portable. Nvidia unveiled a line of VR-ready laptop GPUs earlier this month, aimed at owners of headsets like Oculus Rift. The Samsung Gear VR, which received an update earlier this month, also allows commuters to experience a rudimentary form of VR on-the-go.

In many ways, VR is leaping over the issue of how to make an existing technology portable. It may not be long before subway trains are rammed with people peering into strapped-on headsets.