VR is generally not recommended for younger kids due to eye safety concerns, however, a French-American startup, SkyLights, have announced Skykids, a new VR system especially designed for 6-12-year-old passengers of long-haul flights. The service was deployed fleet-wide on July 1st 2018 on XL Airways.
According to a study ordered by Emirates in 2017, children under 12 get bored 50 minutes into long-haul flights. With entertaining children identified as parents’ biggest concern when flying, naughty children have been voted the second most annoying type of passenger in Expedia’s 2017 passenger study.
Skylights saw an opportunity to upgrade the customer experience of all passengers onboard. As a result, Skykids was developed, combining a fun and engaging VR headset design with a premium catalog curated especially for kids in partnership with 20th Century Fox.
Skykids starts with a small-sized “wearable cinema” called Bravo Theatre, enabling kids to watch a selection of curated 2D, 3D, and forward-facing 360-degree films without leaving their seats. Over-ear headphones are provided for audio, and a child-friendly video catalog from 20th Century Fox is available for kids to choose from.
Having been named ‘Best Leisure Airline in France’ in Skytrax 2018 World Airline Awards, XL Airways involvement in the Skykids project highlights its innovative approach to providing a quality passenger experience.
“Customer feedback has been nothing but positive since we introduced Skykids.”, said 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.” the manager added.
We have no doubt that VR content can easily keep those 6+ year-old unruly kids quite on along-haul flight for a longer period of time but whether the VR experience is dangerous to their eyes or not, is still up to their parents to decide.