The COVID-19 pandemic has kept us away from so many of life’s normal activities, including airline travel. And while we may have complained often in the past about long lines and crowded seats, the truth is that many of us miss it.
That fact is evidenced by the popularity of various flight-themed adventures offered in 2020. Back in July, the Taipei Songshan Airport furnished passengers with “a flight to nowhere,” complete with check-in, security, and boarding procedures for a seat on a grounded plane. With only 60 seats available, more than 7,000 people applied. Companies like EVA Air followed suit with sky-view sight-seeing treks that typically sold out in minutes.
When Australian airline Quantas started selling its excess business class pajamas, nostalgic flyers snapped up all 10,000 pieces within hours.
And of course there was the viral TikTok video of a dad who missed flying so much that he purchased a pair of First Class Delta plane seats and installed them in his living room. He’d also buckle his seat belt, pull out the safety information card, and listen to sounds of turbulence to fully recreate the flying vibes.
The latest air travel-simulating contribution is a view that can turn your workspace into a jet cabin. The Sky Scape digital airplane window looks just like the real thing with a plastic frame and faux shade handle, while the 22-inch high-resolution display provides a circulating view of takeoff, in-flight clouds views, and landing scenes. The atmospheric light in the ultra-realistic picture also cycles between sunrise and sunset, providing both brilliant blues skies and deep purple vistas.
A joint effort from Japanese companies Joled Inc., an OLED screen maker, and LandSkip Inc., a digital display and installation firm, the Sky Scape window was actually under development long before the coronavirus struck. The timing of its release turned out to be serendipitous. Originally designed to be another relaxation tool in the LandSkip arsenal of digital landscape offerings, it now offers a way to soothe socially-distanced employees in their cubicles or home offices.
“I’ve found that it really helps with concentration,” says LandSkip Chief Executive Officer Kazuki Shimomura. “Time passes in a very productive way.”
Joled, a company formed in 2015 when Sony and Panasonic merged their organic light-emitting diode technology (OLED) divisions, saw this project as a way to make their tech more accessible to individuals.
“We wanted to get our panels into the hands of many users while enhancing their value,” says Masayuki Ono, Joled’s Director of Business Development.
For those interested in looking down on the clouds during the workday, the Sky Scape will be available to rent on a subscription-style basis and will be less than the $290 charged for the LandSkip’s larger displays typically installed in hotels and hospitals.
And for those who still find air trips stress-inducing, the companies have also produced the more earthy Terra Bonsai, a digital display of the traditional manicured Japanese tree. A symbol of being in harmony with nature, the tree moves through the stages of the seasons: budding spring pink blossoms, lush summer foliage, falling auburn leaves, and snow-covered branches. The dark background surrounding the ethereal floating Bonsai morphs serenely from fluttering butterflies to a peaceful koi pond.