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Fast developments in inflight entertainment

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Consumer tastes are driving new IFEC innovations

Looking ahead to FTE Global 2013 (an inflight entertainment and communications expo and conference taking place in Las Vegas on September 4-6), Airlinetrends.com looks at new developments in IFEC.

Rapid developments in consumer electronics, the acceleration of wifi installations on aircraft and the surge in the number of passengers carrying digital devices is leading to a wave of inflight innovations.

The problem for airlines is that by the time they install a new entertainment system, things have moved on and it is already behind the carrier’s competitors.

Consumer tastes are driving IFEC innovations. Most of the latest inflight systems have the same kind of touchscreens as found on mobile devices, with screens you can swipe, scroll and quickly navigate using one finger.

New systems by Panasonic and Thales are based on Google’s Android mobile operating system, allowing for the installation of apps. Norwegian is the first airline to install Panasonic’s new Android-powered system on its Dreamliners, where passengers can select from a set of preloaded apps.

Among many other developments, some airlines now provide a second screen, such as Emirates’ Panasonix eX2 ICE system – a touchscreen remote control handset allowing passengers to do two things at once. Similar is Thales’ TouchPMU handheld device. Passengers can order drinks and check the flight map while watching a movie.

Airline Trends

[pictured: TopSeries AVANT for Thales]

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