Posted on: 30 January 2015 by Mark Howells
In this in-depth look at one of the submissions for the 2015 Crystal Cabin Awards, Inflight-Online.com talks to Thierry Carmes from Display Interactive, who explains how the company’s UGO in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) platform came to be and how far it’s come since the product was first showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2014.
Display Interactive’s involvement in the IFEC industry began with a contract with Corsair, when the airline “was repositioning to a regular long-haul carrier, and IFE was considered as a key element of this dramatic service and product upgrade,” Carmes explains. “Rather than considering incumbent IFE designers, Corsair chose us and step by step, we moved from simple ergonomics and graphical design into the development of services and applications.
“We had created IFE services that had never existed before on a seatbacksystem,” claims Carmes. “For example, electronic postcards sent from the plane (a service fully integrated with a dedicated marketing contest open to passengers), a newsfeed based on a partnership with four leading French newspapers, updated daily. Not speaking of a tablet-like user interface, with non-intrusive advertising.”
It was working with Corsair which helped the company to learn a lot about airline processes.“We had ideas to streamline them and make them more effective and less costly. So we packaged all that into a disruptive solution: UGO was born, and we launched at Hamburg AIX 2014,” Carmes continues.
UGO offers three different options: ‘UGO Stream’ runs on traditional cabin Wi-Fi networks, ‘UGO Connect’ includes additional services for aircraft connected through satcoms and ‘UGO Ready’ is for airlines issuing tablets to their passengers. On the philosophy of the product, Carmes notes, “We consider UGO not just as an IFEC platform, but rather as a digital companion offered by airlines to their passengers. It is indeed a business to business to consumer (or B2B2C) solution.”
Carmes is keen to illustrate the technical capabilities of UGO. “Our solution can differentiate contents and services according to routes, business class or even group of passengers. You could change your IFE every day, to celebrate holidays or a special event. Just think about the software behind these features, and you get an idea of UGO’s sophisticated technical design.”
However, Carmes adds, “Our product has been designed for airlines with the end-user in mind, meaning the technical complexity has been buried and harnessed, so it’s invisible.”If you want to see UGO in action for yourself, then Display Interactive will be exhibiting at AIX 2015, with Carmes saying the company is looking forward to showing delegates a live demo of its solution.