lite2fix to touch on the AIX Hamburg 2019 - jetlite - SFS

jetlite is eliminating jet lag

Esther Nestle
2 pictures
7 minutes

The start-up company jetlite is declaring war on jet lag. You can take this as you will – but whatever it is, it’s anything but a castle in the air as far as this still young company is concerned. After all, this sentence, which may sound a tad grandiose to some, is based on many scientific studies. And what about the experts? Not only are they listening, they’re already taking action: Lufthansa is giving the green light to jet lag relief à la jetlite, more on that now.

*Advertising due to product mentioning*

But what is behind the jetlite jet lag principle? We were enlightened by Dr. Achim Leder, co-founder and managing director of jetlite. And what’s more, we will be reporting on supermodel and jetlite co-founder Toni Garrn. Lights on!

The jetlite Interview

The jetlite jet lag principle? Illumination – what’s behind it?

Dr. Achim Leder: “The principle is based on the realization that people can overcome jet lag with the right use of light. Light is one of the most important timers for the human body: in addition to light intensity, light colour has a decisive influence on our internal clock.

When we expose ourselves to blue light, we feel more awake and active. The reason: blue light reduces the sleep hormone melatonin – if less of it is released, we stay awake (longer). Warm, reddish light, on the other hand, slows down melatonin production to a far lesser extent.

This colour knowledge can be made use of on board the aircraft and the light colours can be controlled across different time zones so that the body adapts to the new time zone”.

How do we get this colour knowledge into the plane?

Leder: “The concentrated jetlite knowledge is contained in an algorithm-based lighting concept. It is already being used in some of the latest generation aircraft. At Lufthansa, for example, the A350 and the B747-8 are already flying with the jetlite lighting concept.

How does jetlite meet the comfort requirements of the individual target groups?

Leder: “The passengers in the economy class in a wide-bodied aircraft sit crammed into a confined space. Light can create a better feeling of space; the passenger enjoys a more relaxed travel experience. In Business Class it is even easier to achieve this goal and to provide each individual passenger with the feel-good setting they need.

jetlite can also make the crew’s work easier. Thanks to automatic lighting in the cabin, the crew does not have to worry about the lights. They don’t have to bother about switching on individual light signals; instead they can use the control unit to run through a jet lag cabin lighting scenario adapted to the flight.”

Those who fly Economy Class and walk through Business Class to their seat think “paradise” …

Leder: “The more often you fly, the less attractive even Business Class becomes. For frequent flyers, Business Class is a kind of “pain relief”. You sit comfortably, get a good meal and are well entertained. Yet all this is nothing if jet lag hits you again and, for instance, almost undoes the important meeting over the big pond the next morning. Especially for frequent flyers, jet lag is a serious problem.”

Just the same as it is for supermodel Toni Garrn.

Leder: “Toni Garrn has to endure 80 long-haul flights every year. She revealed in an interview with a major newspaper that she is constantly struggling with jet lag. Exactly our topic! That’s why we contacted her. We are now working together, and she joined jetlite as a co-founder. Thanks to her extensive experience with long-haul flights, she can give us very valuable input on what could be improved to make the flight experience more enjoyable for passengers.

Her input also led to the fact that we now also have a nutritionist on the team, who comes up with a nutrition concept for better sleep before, during and after the flight You don’t sleep well with a typical Business Class steak in your stomach.”

jetlite is a start-up. What challenges does a young company in the aviation industry have to face?

Leder: “Other industries are far more attractive for start-ups: The aviation industry does not have fast innovation cycles. In addition, it has only a few players that are interesting for start-ups. And many think along the lines of “just let them do it, they’ll be gone in two years anyway”. One is dependent on the favour of a few, who sit at the important gear levers. Identifying these people and getting them interested in your own idea is the (only) way to success.

In general, aviation is an industry with very high entry barriers. It takes years for the idea to fly one day. Developing today, earning money the day after tomorrow – that’s not how it works in this industry. A start-up has to spend an enormous amount of money on the necessary financing to achieve a business breakthrough. You have to be particularly persistent, have a lot of stamina and get used to doing without things.

Three years ago, we had the chance to be supported by the Airbus Accelerator Program “BizLab” (more about the BizLab here). This was a big step forward for us to persist in the market, and we are establishing ourselves step by step. The longer we stay with in the industry, the more seriously they take us.”

The launch of jetlite was in 2012. How were the first years of business in such a difficult industry financed?

Leder: “Besides the contribution of own capital as a basic investment, there are mostly two ways: Firstly, the use of venture capital – the investor contributes capital and in return becomes co-partner and shareholder. Secondly, the route of public funding.

We have received the EXIST grant from the Federal Government (BMWi) and InnoRampUp from the City of Hamburg. Thanks to these earmarked subsidies, we were able to accelerate the development of our products. In addition, we are proud that we can already generate sales from projects.”

Hamburg is the third largest civil aviation site in the world. Is that the reason for the choice of location?

Leder: “The cost of living in Hamburg is high and start-ups don’t earn a lot of money, which is why many young companies tend to move to Berlin, Cologne or Frankfurt. For us, however, no other location is an option. Hamburg as a strong aviation location, the support of public institutions, the bundling and coordination of all aviation activities at Hamburg Aviation – all this is like wind under our wings. The network offered in Hamburg, the many events and the great publicity are extremely valuable to us. And many important business and cooperation partners are just a stone’s throw away.”

jetlite and SFS are cooperation partners. What are the benefits for jetlite?

Leder: “As one of the big players on the market, SFS can give start-ups like us access to the market and open doors that would otherwise remain closed – which is worth its weight in gold to us. As a start-up, you can quickly have the door slammed in your face. Another very important point for me is SFS’s enormous expertise in the field of fastening elements. As the icing on the cake, the cooperation with our contacts at SFS is also very pleasant for us. They think around the corner and have innovative ideas on how we can make our products even better.”

Where is the connection to the big jetlite topic, jet lag?

Leder: “Together with SFS, we have developed a new fastening system with integrated chronobiological cabin lighting – lite2fix. The light colour, “jetlite Blue”, vitalises passengers, while “jetlite Red” supports melatonin production and in this way, rest periods. With this system, well-being on board is raised to a new level and the passenger has – as scientifically proven – significantly less trouble with jet lag.

Thank you for the interview Mr. Leder!

Here you can see some impressions of the first presentation of the lite2fix prototype at this year’s AIX:

Addition by WingMag: lite2fix can do much more!

The chronobiological cabin lighting of jetlite is integrated into a very special attachment system for aircraft cabin walls, which significantly accelerates the installation of the components, requires only a few brackets, is self-adjusting and enables a high degree of automation.

In addition, the LED panels open up a multitude of possibilities for individualization, which should be of particular interest to airlines. Among other things, the following uses are conceivable: assistance with deboarding through a traffic light system, easily recognizable seat reservation, individualized advertising and so much more besides.

In this article and on the website, you can find out what else the product can do and what advantages it offers for aircraft manufacturers, airlines and passengers.

In this video you will get a good impression of the product’s features and why it makes installation so easy:

You would like to get to know jetlite personally? Then visit APEX Expo in Los Angeles, booth 1562, from September 10th to 12th 2019.

by Esther Nestle

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