Panasonic Avionics has grabbed some serious headlines of late for its Integrated Smart Monitor (formerly known as Fusion). And deservedly so. Everyone I've spoken to in advance of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg has sung the praises of Smart.
But if you think Panasonic is alone in its effort to integrate lightweight in-flight entertainment with slim seats early in the development process, think again. Thales is poised to reveal some advancement in this regard too.
One of the big drivers to re-engineering in-flight entertainment systems is the Airbus A350, which is proving to be a great platform for innovation. To wit, during a recent conversation with RWG, Airbus head of aircraft interiors Bob Lange said:
"I would say that all the IFE manufacturers are looking at reducing the form factor and taking volume and weight out of the equipment going into the seat."
I think it's fair to say that we can expect some news from Thales soon...
Meanwhile, the good folks from Thales were kind enough to send along some photos of me touring their new connectivity suite outside of London. I can just see it now - Thales' new connected in-flight entertainment solution (represented in the pics above and below) attached to an ultra-slim economy class seat. Can't you?