Good gracious but isn’t it a busy time in the world of in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC)? If I step away for even five minutes I miss some serious action! Here is a run-down of stuff you should know about.
For starters, as expected, Oman has switched on its ‘Mobile OnAir’ and ‘Internet OnAir’ solutions on a single Airbus A330-300. The carrier is billing the Internet solution as “broadband” in its press release, which is a bit of a stretch since Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband aeronautical service isn’t as swift as its name suggests. And, let’s be frank, the Internet is a bit pricey! Nonetheless, Oman deserves props for being the first carrier in the world to offer both mobile and Internet. Check out its advertisement above. Nice PR effort, Oman!
Etihad Airways will fit RDT-manufactured “Tempus IC” systems on its Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 aircraft to monitor the condition of passengers who display signs of sickness that might require immediate medical attention.
Key par from the press statement:
“The “Tempus IC” system allows cabin crew to gather vital information about a passenger’s health quickly and efficiently. The data covers a wide range of the passenger’s ‘vital signs’ including blood pressure and an electrocardiogram. It also allows the crew to take photo imagery. That information is then transmitted to a medical team of global experts specialised in assistance in in-flight medical contingencies. Following their advice the crew will take a decision about what to do next for the passenger and the flight.”
Speaking of Etihad, I’m told that the new Thales retrofit on the carrier’s 777 and A320 fleets has Panasonic Avionics’ eXPort iPod jack. Panasonic licensed it to IFPL and Thales used it. Perhaps there will be a standard on this solution someday, yes?
Inmarsat is reportedly asking prospective satellite builders to study a fifth-generation Inmarsat constellation that would carry a mixed L- and Ka-band payload. Wow, we’re hearing more and more about Ka band-based connectivity these days, aren’t we?
EADS Innovation Works is making progress on wireless IFE via a 60GHz system. Check out what Airbus’ sister is up to in this regard.
And did you see this about Iran’s demands for moving map displays?!?P
Phew, we’ll have lots more fun IFEC stuff in the coming days. I’m in London this week to see Thales’ connectivity suite. Then I’m hitting Washington DC mid-month for the Satellite 2010 conference, where I’ll be moderating an in-flight connectivity panel. At the end of March, I’ll fly out to California for the WAEA connectivity workshop. Like I said, lots going on in IFEC!!!