Remember how the iPod changed how we listened to music? Look past portability: It was all about the shuffling. Radio stations began blurring their formats to include more popular music, offering an iPod-like experience over the airwaves.
Smartphones and tablets are doing the same thing to in-flight entertainment. The days of a single film shown way up at the front of the cabin may as well be written about in hieroglyphics, so far have we come. Today, IFEC designers must compete with − and take advantage of − passengers’ own devices.
Thales has rolled out AVANT, an IFEC system that uses two touchscreens for a deeper entertainment experience: an experience that includes shopping and ordering drinks as well as watching movies and playing games.
Aside from the touchscreen interface and smartphone-like secondary screen unit, AVANT offers the ability to evolve. Based on the Android operating system, airlines can adapt AVANT to create thrilling opportunities in terms of service and branding.
著しいです！ | That’s Remarkable!
Japan Airlines is the first Asian carrier to use AVANT on a B787 Dreamliner, and they’re already putting their stamp on it by launching Sky Manga, the first of its kind in the world. Passengers will be able to read nearly 100 manga titles, a third of which are in English. Aside from presenting an iconic Japanese art form whose roots lie in 17th-century woodblock prints, Sky Manga speaks to passenger desire: according to an APEX Insights survey, nearly as many passengers read for pleasure as watch movies via IFE.
In a press release, vice-president and CEO of IFEC Dominique Giannoni said, “The launch of this new aircraft is a great milestone for all of us and we are confident that the quality, reliability and advanced technology of our systems will help Japan Airlines ensure their passengers continue to be satisfied by this airline’s exceptional level of service.”
Unleash Your Imagination
What would you do if you had a configurable IFEC system at your disposal? I’d create a digital postcard system for my notional airline: passengers could while away the cruising-altitude hours by writing missives to friends via branded e-postcards, which automatically send upon landing. Passengers solve the call-me-when-you-land problem, and airlines get a chance to reach people who aren’t even flying.
I’d also throw in networked printing. Those who actually use their laptops for work must still plug in at an office once they land if they need to print a document. A networked printer would be a great business-class feature. If only I could name my airline after myself: Air Jordan…
With configurable IFEC such as AVANT, you’re limited only by your imagination. You’re not just showing things, you’re making things: how exciting is that?