As frequent flyers ourselves, we jumped at the opportunity to work with Panasonic Avionics on some virtual blue-sky thinking. 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, etc. Flyers can ever order food and drinks directly from their device, as well book hotel and restaurant reservations for their final destination.
Airlines spend millions of dollars a year on the upkeep of in-flight entertainment, with local servers housed on each airplane. This equates to additional bulk and weight, not just for the servers and screens alone, but for the rivers of wiring flowing throughout the subflooring. By developing a cloud-based platform that eliminates such physical additions to the plane, airlines could potentially save millions on fuel, and the weight reduction could allow for planes to travel greater distances with less cost.