• 02-MAR-2017

  • News Release

On the way to the digital conference - Experience an “SXSW” FlyingLab with Lufthansa

FlyingLab1 klein

For visitors to “South by Southwest” in Texas, the conference programme begins as early as 9 March in Frankfurt.

“Music, Film, Interactive” – goes the three-way split of the “South by Southwest” (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. It is one of the world's largest conferences on the topic of digitization. With the eponymous “FlyingLab SXSW”, Lufthansa will introduce its guests on flight LH440 from Frankfurt to Houston on 9 March 2017 to the conference themes. On board an Airbus A380, everything will revolve around the impacts of digitization. High above the Atlantic, digital experts will give fascinating insights into their subject areas. The 15-minute sessions range from transport in the future, to Smart Cities, and a useful survival guide for the ten SXSW conference days (10 to 19 March 2017). All participants of the “Flying Lab SXSW” will get access to the live video stream of the speakers, and the presentation documents, via WiFi on their smartphone, tablet or laptop - no matter where they’re sitting on the plane. Listeners can ask the speakers questions related to the presentations via their devices. “This is how FlyingLab creates a dialogue on board that the participants can then continue with their seat neighbours after the presentations have finished,” says Dr Torsten Wingenter, Senior Director Digital Innovations at Lufthansa. “Every industry must think about how to use the opportunities of digitization for themselves. Airlines are no exception to this.” 

Lufthansa has announced 2017 as the year of digitization, and the FlyingLab is a building block in this strategy. With this, Lufthansa is pursuing the strategy of fast prototyping. Relevant digitization topics will be used in the FlyingLabs to get direct feedback from the participants. So far, FlyingLabs have taken place on the topics of virtual reality as well as fashion & technology. “A FlyingLab makes it possible to use travelling time much more efficiently. The programme is linked to the destination or an event at the final destination,” explains Dr Wingenter. In future, Lufthansa will open up the platform and offer FlyingLabs from third parties. It is conceivable that companies will use this to introduce their employees or customers to particular topics on the way to conferences, trade fairs and other events.

In addition to lectures, the FlyingLab SXSW also offers an elaborate test unit. There is enough time on the eleven hour flight to try out innovative technical devices at leisure. The selection includes video glasses, noise reducing earplugs and a smart ring. The Glyph video glasses from US manufacturer Avegant do not work using screens, LEDs project the video image over tiny mirrors using two lenses onto the viewer’s retinas. The earplugs from the Finnish manufacturer QuietOn reduce background noise by up to 40 decibels and the wearer doesn’t have to adjust any complicated settings. The earpieces are wireless and their batteries provide up to 50 hours of noise cancellation. New York start-up Ringly presents a smart ring in the FlyingLab SXSW. The piece of jewelry signals incoming messages on your smartphone via vibration and colour patterns so you don’t have to constantly keep an eye on the screen and yet you still don’t miss a thing. In addition, Ringly also counts steps taken and calories burned by the wearer.

Taking part in the FlyingLab is free of charge. All you need is a ticket for flight LH440 on 9 March 2017 from Frankfurt to Houston. Prior reservation is necessary for test devices. More information on the speakers as well as the technical devices can be found at FlyingLab.aero/sxsw2017.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG 
Media Relations Lufthansa Group