There’s a new pandemic-era gadget for those who can’t wait to gaze outside an airplane window again: Sky Scape.
A 22-inch high-resolution display surrounded by a plastic frame, similar to those found in passenger aircraft, Sky Scape offers to elevate the home and office experience as many businesses across the world remain under restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It was jointly developed by two Japanese companies: Joled Inc., a maker of OLED screens, and LandSkip Inc., a designer of digital displays and installations.
A sold-out flight to nowhere, along with in-flight meals on grounded planes, show healthy demand for experiences that many people across the globe haven’t been able to savor for months. Although development of the Sky Scape began well before the pandemic, the timing turned out right for the current environment, according to Kazuki Shimomura, LandSkip’s chief executive officer.
“I’ve found that it really helps with concentration,” Shimomura said. “Time passes in a very productive way.”
Originally envisioned as a relaxation tool like LandSkip’s other products, Sky Scape mimics a plane ascending and descending through clouds from sunrise to sunset. There are no views of airports, cities or runways. The screen will be available as a subscription-style rental service, with a fee that will be lower than the average monthly charge of about ¥30,000 ($290) for LandSkip’s bigger digital-window displays installed in offices, hospitals and hotels, according to Shimomura.
Joled was created in 2015 when it combined the OLED operations of Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., and began mass production of OLED screens using ink-jet technology last year. Thinner and more energy efficient, organic light-emitting diode panels produce deeper colors because the pixels glow on their own, while liquid-crystal displays require a backlight.
“We wanted to get our panels into the hands of many users while enhancing their value,” said Masayuki Ono, Joled’s director of business development. Most of the initial inquiries for Sky Scape have come from co-working office operators, although some individuals have expressed interest.
For those stressed out by the idea of having an airplane window near their desk day after day, Joled and LandSkip offer a sister product called Terra Bonsai, a rectangular window with a wooden frame that displays a virtual bonsai tree that hovers and flowers, aimed at offering a relaxing respite from work.
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