Skycast Solutions is a six-person startup in Renton, but some big companies are adopting its technology. Alaska Airlines recently purchased more than 7,000 tablets embedded with Windows that Skycast tailored for in-flight entertainment.
The eight-inch Toshiba Encore 2 tablets run Windows 8.1 and offer an entertainment experience passengers can customize.
Skycast President Greg Latimer says that multiple airlines have reached out to the company for more information since Alaska Airlines made the announcement last week.
“I can’t speak to which ones right now, but just since this news has gone out, we’ve received wide interest from airlines that want to take a look at the tablet,” Latimer says.
In a few weeks, Skycast is headed to Germany for a global trade show, where the tablet and operating system will be shown to large and small airlines from around the world.
“We no longer have day-to-day operations, it’s just all day and all night,” Latimer says. “We’re kind of the classic startup — working 24 hours a day and seven days a week to make sure the operation is running smoothly. We’re rising to the occasion for sure.”
The tablets are the result of a yearlong partnership between Skycast, Microsoft, and Seattle-based Ratio. Alaska Airlines did a soft launch of the product on February 1, phasing out the digEplayer.
“We’ve been able to develop a relatively low-cost tablet that’s incredibly robust,” Latimer says. “This tablet offers movies, TV shows, games, and digital magazines already loaded on the tablet, and then at the push of one button, they can connect to Alaska’s on-board server and Wi-Fi and have access to a world of movies, TV shows, and free content.”
Skycast’s movie offerings will be robust and contemporary thanks to a licensing agreement with Hollywood studios. “This gives us access to early-window movies either still in the theaters or pre-DVD and pre-streaming,” Latimer says. “These are really the movies that people want to see.”