But, even if you’ve got in-seat power for your device, when it comes to a five-plus-hour flight, all that eye squinting can get bothersome (and wrinkle-inducing).
Enter IFPL (Inflight Peripherals Limited), a company that has spent the last decade engineering solutions for passenger entertainment, and which has brought that expertise to the development of its latest multi-media docking stations (MMDS) for the cabin.
IFPL’s second generation docking station (in Qualification) is compatible with iPhones, iTouch, iPod Classic and iPod Nano 4th and 5th Gen players. The MMDS units are made from aluminium so that they can be finished in any colour to match the customer’s cabin, even gold plated (note to Middle Eastern carriers).
I spoke to IFPL business development manager Neil Thomas at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition, and asked him to tell me why the latest MMDS is so special.
“The connector in the MMDS can easily be pulled out a short way to connect with the iPod, which is then retained in the MMDS for use and/or recharging. The passenger’s own media, on their PED, can be controlled in the normal way, but is viewed on the larger IFE monitor.
“Passengers can therefore watch their own supplied movie or last night’s missed soap episode on their larger seat screen. A docking station has the additional benefit that because the PED is retained vertically rather than sitting on the tray table, it is less likely to be dislodged by turbulence or damaged by spillages.
“The MMDS can be tailored to customer requirements, for instance with the inclusion of RCA, USB and Audio output jacks. These alternate connectors allow other, non-iPod units, to interface. IFPL has signed up for the ‘made for iPod progamme’ with Apple.”
But could a carrier opt to simply offer a screen and a MMDS at each seat and leave the entertainment solely up to the passenger? Why yes it could.