APEX TV Market: Wearing it well – tomorrow’s IFE on the horizon

Wearable technology will shape in-flight entertainment (IFE) in future, according to both Duncan Abell, VP creative for Inflight Peripherals, and Victor Brault, marketing manager for OnAir.

Abell said, “Wearable technology seems like a trend that is here to stay. People say they feel more intelligent and more well informed and wear it all the time.”

Brault added, “Wireless and connected IFE is an unprecedented opportunity for airlines to interact and engage with their passengers.”

However, there are hurdles to overcome. Google Glass, for example, can record the onboard movie, and anything that has IP related and security aspects could be in jeopardy. Abell said, “We work with studios to ensure complete approval and adhere to industry standards and best practice. We also offer quality assurance across multiple devices, with different sized operating systems. There are massive challenges in transferring all this content.”

Even before wearable technology becomes ubiquitous and throws up more issues to deal with, adapting content for different screens today presents challenges. On a typical Airbus A380 flight, for example, there are 207 tablets, 213 laptops, 450 smartphones and 106 e-readers onboard.

Brault pointed to three other challenges raised by all this carry on technology, “Battery life, which means there is a need for inseat power, network strength, bandwidth is always limited, and waiting time.”

He concluded, “ It is essential to manage passenger expectations.”

Liz Moscrop, Inflight / Inflight-Online.com


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