APEX Insight: The 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, which recognizes a product or service created by an APEX member company that joined the association in the past two years, goes to Immfly, for its wireless in-flight entertainment platform, and SkyLights, for its immersive IFE headsets.
The Newcomer of the Year Award recognizes a product or service created by an APEX member company that joined in the past two years. This award is designed to recognize a specific achievement, which an airline has successfully used and implemented this past year. To qualify for the Newcomer of the Year Award, the achievement must be of direct benefit to the passenger and/or airline and the technology or logistics should be sustainable.
Immfly Flies High
Earlier this year, Immfly cofounders Jimmy Martinez Von Korff and Pablo Linz said that the Barcelona-based startup aspires to become the “preferred onboard monetization partner for the travel industry, reaching 100 million connected passengers by 2018.” With numerous milestones reached since its late-2013 launch, Immfly isn’t far off.
Immfly’s wireless in-flight entertainment and retail platform is already available across Iberia Express’ entire fleet, will soon be operative on Volotea’s new Airbus A319s and has entered the long-haul market through a recent partnership with XL Airways. To what does the company owe its success? A commitment to personalization. “Our expertise lies in making a personalized onboard experience through active platform management based on passengers’ profiles and preferences. We are able to continuously extract and analyze passenger data and consumption metrics in order to better understand and predict patterns of consumer behavior,” Jimmy M. von Korff, cofounder, Immfly, tells APEX Media.
“Our expertise lies in making a personalized onboard experience through active platform management based on passengers’ profiles and preferences.” — Jimmy M. von Korff, Immfly
As Immfly continues to explore opportunities for personalization, its product continues to evolve. In July, the company introduced a movie-streaming channel on its platform, and the company has made strides in consolidating airline offerings into travel brands. “Airlines are really keen to become more complete travel brands, and wireless platforms are helping to continue the passenger experience beyond the aircraft … BYOD means we can engage with passengers in flight but also hold onto them afterwards,” says von Korff.
At this rate, the company’s 2018 goal seems like the inevitable conclusion to a recent string of events rather than mere wishful thinking. The success will only continue, says von Korff: “Certainly, we are in talks with many airlines, and will be announcing more partnerships in the near future!”
SkyLights Shines Bright
Founded in 2015, SkyLights is already shining brightly in the in-flight entertainment industry with its immersive headsets to keep an eye on.
The SkyLights Theatre headset, an ultra light and comfortable IFE system with immersive cinema glasses for 2-D and 3-D film viewing, received rave reviews after a trial on XL Airways earlier this year. According to SkyLights, 95 percent of XL Airways passengers who trialed the device said they were satisfied – and just over half of testers said they would consider buying a SkyLights Theater device for personal use outside the aircraft. “In-flight entertainment faces a turning point in its history,” says Vincent Tomasoni, XL Airways’ head of Product Marketing. “SkyLights’ product allows passengers to immerse themselves into a cocoon: their own movie theater, at 36,000 feet from the ground. That is a disruptive innovation that could change the way we travel by plane. We will continue to work with SkyLights and hope to agree on permanent commercialization by the end of the year.”
“Our target is to enable anyone to escape, relax and to enjoy premium VR entertainment.” — Vincent Tomasoni, XL Airways
The startup is seeking to make virtual reality an in-flight reality with its SkyLights Bravo VR headset, which will be rolled out on two airlines by the end of this year. According to Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ head of Sales, “Our target is to enable anyone to escape, relax and to enjoy premium VR entertainment; we want to reach the market very quickly with a comfortable, easy to use and autonomous product designed for airlines.”