Posted on: 23 April 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Air Canada’s manager of IFE, Éric Lauzon, led a discussion about ways airlines can make in-flight entertainment (IFE) more accessible for passengers with visual or hearing impairment during Education Day at APEX Multimedia Market in Prague this week.
Lauzon described how Air Canada commissioned two focus groups in conjunction with Ipsos Reid and DTI Solutions, before developing an enhanced graphical user interface (GUI). The groups noted how hearing and visually impaired passengers were not engaging with the IFE system in-flight despite using technology to assist in their everyday lives on the ground. By observing how these passengers interacted with current GUIs, for example how well they responded to vocal instructions and whether navigation paths were easy to memorise, Air Canada was able to develop an enhanced IFE.DTI Solutions then developed a prototype GUI with swipe and touch gestures, physical buttons in the handset, identifiable colours in menus screens and simple vocal instructions that could be repeated.Air Canada now employs this enhanced GUI on all its IFE, while further tactile audio templates that can be installed by trained crew, increases its IFE offering to visually and hearing impaired passengers.
“Air Canada is proud to be the first airline to offer an IFE system that is fully accessible for all passengers – regardless of their hearing of visual impairment,” said Lauzon.