EXCLUSIVE: Panasonic reveals event-driven FlightPath for IFE

On first blush, the new FlightPath application for Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment systems looks simply like a cool flash interface. But look a little deeper and you’ll see that it is an entirely different approach to the whole passenger experience.

Providing an event-driven, content-rich seatback environment, FlightPath was quietly shown to airlines at last year’s WAEA conference and exhibition. Since that time, everything has “started to snowball in terms of capabilities”, says Panasonic Avionics director of corporate sales and marketing Neil James. Airlines are lining up for FlightPath, and some are keen to totally “customize their own cities” to drive business to their own brand partners.

RWG is pleased to show FlightPath to the traveling public for the very first time. Is IFE still relevant in a connected world? Oh Yeah!

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Fig 1: FlightPath is an innovative and highly brand-able iconic platform designed to enhance the passenger experience and offer a graphically immersive environment to explore

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Fig 2: FlightPath equips the passenger with the tools to control and tailor their in-flight experience to their specific preferences. They can schedule movies or meal

FlightPath 3.JPG Fig 3: FlightPath utilizes cockpit data to provide location based notifications to inform passengers of nearby landmarks and points of interest they can explore

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Fig 4: With the addition of connectivity, FlightPath transforms into a powerhouse of rich content driven media and social interaction

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Fig 5: Whether it’s shopping, pay per view, or advertising, FlightPath is a full featured platform for ancillary revenue generation

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Fig 6: FlightPath supports a wide range of applications and services that work together to provide a seamless user experience transforming the interactive into a truly integrated environment.

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9 Responses to EXCLUSIVE: Panasonic reveals event-driven FlightPath for IFE

  1. Michael H April 19, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Love the vision Panasonic have here, very nicely done. Would be nice to know more about how they plan to roll it out, if existing deployments in the last few years will be capable of it, etc. I’m sure there will be more news soon.

  2. Mary Kirby April 19, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Here’s what I can tell you. FlightPath is not part of a new IFE system. Depending on the configuration selected by airline customers of Panasonic’s IFE systems, it can be brought to platforms already in operation. “We want it to be able to go on the latest systems, but we also wanted it to be retrofitable on more legacy equipment as well,” says James.

  3. Dave Paisley April 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Looks like more of a higher-tech, slightly prettier means of parting customers from their money but without the cabin crew shaking you down in the aisles a la Ryanair. You could be a bit more objective about reviewing stuff like this instead of going all gaga over every half-baked idea IFE companies come up with.

    And deployable on older IFE? I can hardly wait to see this on the BA 12 channel video systems with the postage stamp screens. Whooo…

  4. Mary Kirby April 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    In fairness, I don’t think James was referring to that sort of legacy.

  5. Brent Wood April 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    DigEcor, the portable IFE supplier, has been working on the same things that Panasonic’s Fligth Path will introduce soon. Both Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines will introduce the digEcor Flight Path features of shopping, etc. in the next 30 days. Games and advertisement ancillary revenue have been available on portable for several years.

  6. Mary Kirby April 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks for your comment, Brent. If you saw an error message, don’t worry, your comment has come through. Moveable Type has been a bit sticky lately.

  7. Brent Wood April 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    digEplayer L10 Apple iPad Wi-Fi

    Dimensions Height 263 mm 242.8 mm
    Width 155 mm 189.7 mm
    Thickness 27.5 mm 13.4 mm
    Weight 1.10 kg 0.68 kg
    Display 10.2 inch 9.7 inch (Equivalent to 8.9 inch widescreen)
    Aspect 16:9 – Widescreen 4:3 – Cropped image or black bars
    Touch Screen Yes – Capacitive Yes – Capacitive
    Screen Type LED-backlit LED-backlit
    Resolution 1024×600 1024×768
    Optical Mouse Yes, left and right click buttons No Support
    Storage
    Flash Memory 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB Flash Drive Same Drive
    HDD 120GB to 160GB No Support
    Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
    USB Port 1 Standard external port 1 Apple proprietary port
    Content Support
    Early Window Yes Unknown
    Multiple Languages Multiple subtitles and multiple language audio tracks Unknown
    Closed Captioning Yes Yes
    Audio Jacks 2 independently controlled audio jacks 1 audio jack
    Power Quick remove 70Wh, rechargeable lithium-polymer battery with external charge status indicator iPad:Built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery

    Player remains in service while battery charges Player is out of service while charging (3.5 hours)
    Usage Time: 15 hours / 20 hours Up to 10 hours
    Ruggedization Designed to continue operating with minimal

    aesthetic damage after 4 foot drop Screen damage after 3 drops from seated position (source: PCWorld, http://bit.ly/b1qmbY), requires purchase of case for ruggedization

    Applications:
    Shopping Yes. 170k App Store (many require Internet access)
    Advertising Yes No Support
    Gaming Revenue Yes No Support

    Content Early Window Movies No Support

    Logistics:
    Gigabit Ethernet Yes, fast content updates No Support
    Usage Statistics Yes Yes

    Other Easily repaired locally Must be sent to Apple to be repaired

    Full IP and product control Apple retains IP and product control
    Family of IFE products Single product
    Designed for inflight passenger use Designed for terrestrial consumer use
    Studio approved content security Unknown
    Built-in kickstand No kickstand (requires purchase of case w/ stand)

    Media Quotes

    “Apple is acknowledging complaints that its new iPad computer has trouble connecting to the Internet.” – CNN.com

    “Options such as the digEcor digEplayer L Series offer touch screen ease of use, established back end support for software & hardware, integrated ancillary revenue options, a rugged unit, sustained battery life for extended use and now offer wifi for accessing online options inflight. The digEcor products are designed to be deployed and updated in large numbers with the customizations options required by each airline. The ROI of the iPad just is not there for airlines to invest in as an IFEC solution, while other dedicated products exist without modification and a full support system in place to keep them up and running.” – Steven Frischling, FlyingWithFish.com

    Information compiled by digEcor. All Rights Reserved.
    http://www.digEcor.com

  8. Reiner Bosch May 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    I love products with touch screen because that is innovative and it is nice to work with a touch screen. But I don´t find a good notebook with good hardware. That´s terrible.

  9. Search Engine Optimization August 7, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Excellent job.