- Provide proof of concept for a personalized and innovative in-flight entertainment experience that is modern, user-specific and easy for individual airlines to specify and update – all while reducing overall operational and infrastructure costs by adopting and implementing a low-overhead digital platform. Oh and did we mention, the experience needs to start at the moment a passenger books a ticket?
As frequent flyers ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity to work with Panasonic on some virtual blue-sky thinking. Our team of strategists and user experience designers began with an analysis of the traveler experience, from the moment of booking to being whisked away at the final destination and beyond. Our in-depth findings identified an average traveler’s needs, motivations and most importantly, pain points, which could result in the greatest areas of improved satisfaction.
With the determination that a personalized flight platform was lacking in the aviation industry and with the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices of the general flying population, we focused on creating an in-flight experience not yet available to commercial flyers. With the iPad’s near-perfect blend of screen size and weight, we began with its platform as the basis for our development. It quickly became an ideal candidate to replace the current bulky on-board screens and servers, as well as offering a more coherent experience for all travelers.
With wireless capabilities ever-expanding, we determined that personal tablets – either the flyers or a loaned tablet from the flight crew – would replace the standard back-of-seat, or worse yet, ceiling drop, entertainment consoles. Cloud-based data and push updates would be initiated at the start of the flight, allowing travelers to stream flight-specific content, entertainment in the form of movies, tv shows, magazines, and beloved in-flight catalogs (everyone needs a NFL Wine Shoe Holder!). Flyers can even order food and drinks directly from their device, no waiting for the cart to painstakingly roll its way to you.
Further analysis showed that additional amenities provided a greater travel experience, such as information on the flight’s final destination, with customized recommendations and booking abilities for on-the-ground jaunts, like restaurants and lodging. Specified airport information such as coupons, sale notifications and restaurant wait times could be sent to the flyer as they wound through the terminal en route to their gate.