Retina glasses on, sit back and curtain up: From 23 February to 3 March 2017, Lufthansa passengers can try out the innovative Avegant Glyph video glasses in the Business Lounge located in the area near Gate A26. To do so, all you need is to have access to the lounge in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport which is open every day from 6:30 to 22:00. “Entertainment electronics play an important role in travel. We have selected an impressive innovation from the incredible amount of new products available. Our guests can try these out informally and in a relaxed atmosphere”, says Dr Torsten Wingenter, Senior Director Digital Innovations at Lufthansa. Lufthansa has chosen this time period as the Mobile World Congress starts on 27 February, which attracts many technology lovers.
Lufthansa is therefore making the effects of digitisation both visible and tangible for passengers. This doesn’t necessarily have to take place on board: the airline organises events in the air as well as on the ground – from “FlyingLabs”, an open innovations platform on board, to activities on the ground, like here in the lounge. “We present our guests with digital innovations right along the travel chain and let them test them. This allows us see what travellers enjoy and what is suitable for our regular operation”, says Wingenter.
So far, there has been a FlyingLab on the topic of Virtual Reality en route to Silicon Valley, as well as one on the topic of fashion and technology (“Fashion Tech”) on the way to Fashion Week in New York. On 9 March 2017, the airline has organised the official “Lufthansa SXSW FlyingLab flight” to the world’s largest digital exhibition in Texas. All passengers who have booked a ticket for this day on flight LH440 can take part.
The video glasses, which at first glance look like headphones, can be used anywhere: at home on the sofa, or travelling on a plane. Video content from smartphones, laptops or game consoles is reproduced using a micro-HDMI connection. Thanks to the separate audio input, the user can also use the Avegant Glyph as classic headphones for music or to listen to an audiobook. In the Lufthansa Business Lounge there are ten pairs of glasses with a choice of six videos available. The film selection ranges from relaxation above the clouds to the profile of a surfing flight attendant and the new long-distance A350 aircraft.
In January 2017, the video glasses were chosen as the Innovation Award Honoree in Las Vegas at the CES technology tradeshow. “The special feature of the Glyph is the projection directly on the retina, which is more pleasant for the wearer compared to a screen”, says Eric Trabold from Glyph manufacturer Avegant. Eric Trabold is responsible for Sales, Business Development & Marketing at the Silicon Valley start-up. LEDs project the video signal onto two fields which each have two million tiny microscopic mirrors. Lenses focus the light reflection and cast them on the viewer’s retinas. Wearers of the glasses can adjust the image (+1 to -7 dioptres) to suit them, and interchangeable nose bridges ensure optimum wearing comfort. The Avegant Glyph does not cover the wearer’s complete field of vision like other VR glasses. This means that, on a plane for example, the user can get the attention of the person sitting next to them or the flight attendant.