UPDATE: Meet the world’s first iPad in-flight entertainment system


Updated to include information about bluebox Ai content

Bluebox Avionics has formally launched the bluebox Ai, the industry’s first – and thus far only – in-flight entertainment system to utilise the Apple iPad.

The UK-based company says bluebox Ai leverages the power, flexibility and quality of the most advanced consumer device ever produced. “And with our proprietary bluebox security solution, the Ai is fully approved for early-window IFE content, just like all other products in the bluebox range.”

An unidentified international carrier will start offering bluebox Ai units to passengers in July. It will be available to other airlines shortly after that.

While specific content details have not as yet been disclosed, BlueBox touts the iPad’s 10hr battery life, and says bluebox Ai will include:

• full range of games from the iTunes App Store
• full selection of consumer magazines, powered by Zinio™
• eBooks as available in the App Store
custom apps built for your airline
• and a selection from over 200,000 commercial apps available for iPad

BlueBox is best known for its commercial off the shelf (COTS) portable IFE players, and its advancements in the wireless IFE space. If you’re at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (Twitter hashtag #HAM10) next week in Hamburg, be sure to check out Bluebox at stand 6F32.

iPad IFE 2.JPG

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10 Responses to UPDATE: Meet the world’s first iPad in-flight entertainment system

  1. Layman May 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    It seems obvious and interesting. However, how would they resolve the issue of pilferage?

  2. Mary Kirby May 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    One of many questions that need answered (others include – how will airlines keep these babies clean; has a certified box to charge multiple units been procured; will the launch carrier also offer connectivity?) I’m hoping to get some answers at the Hamburg show.

  3. Mary Kirby May 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Another question (fielded from the RWG FB page) – How much insurance coverage will the carrier have for the dropped IFE units? :) So much to talk to BlueBox about!

  4. Darien May 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Will the airline distribute the iPads for free, or will we have to rent them?

  5. Dave May 13, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    Question: Would the airliners not reduce cost if the flying public was, say, in a drug induced hibernation? No need to invest in expensive IFE and the cargo err pax wake up once they reach their destination- none the wiser. They’re happy, the airlines are happy. Win-Win. Why is this not under consideration Mary? I demand that you investigate.

  6. Mary Kirby May 13, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    But why would airlines need to provide that service, Dave? Half the cabin is already popping pills on overnights anyways.

  7. Dave May 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Well, “service” might be the wrong word for what I was suggesting… but from the business standpoint it would provide for significant savings and also increase the capacity of the aircraft (to weight and balance limits). Essentially, the cargo- humans, in this case- would be placed in a drug induced, let us say, coma. They could be placed in some sort of bunk/shelf/coffin like apparatus (perhaps a cardboard box or series of metal shelves) and stacked on pallets just like other cargo… no need for seats, interiors,food, IFE or even cabin heat… just oxygen (Unfortunately, there is no way around that requirement, at least with current technology- humans need oxygen. Perhaps future R&D efforts can find a solution). Racked and stacked 10 by 10, there would be a significant increase in aircraft capacity. At the end of the flight, the cargo is re-wakened and sent off on their way… Mostly likely with an attrition rate of less than 3 percent- so the cost of lawsuits versus profit should remain favourable. I suggest it be given a catchy name to overcome any negative connotations.

  8. fabio May 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Dave, it’s terrible! Your proposal is not so far from “matrix” vision of human being. stacked as a DHL box, Probably I still believe that a trip (business or holiday) starts well before to leave (dreaming,preparation, trip, stay, etc…). How many people hate to fly, how many more people would hate to fly as a box, incounscious like a drug zombie… sorry but seems a sci-fi far from any real application.

  9. Mike May 17, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Dave have you been watching the Fifth Element again :)

    How do you evacuate 300+ people who are all stoned ?

  10. Dave May 17, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Perhaps… To answer your question, the aircraft needs to have loading ramps, similar to C-130s or C-17s. Instead of evacuating individual passengers, you eject the entire pallet… and if you have an inflight emergency, the pallets-which could have parachutes- would be jettisoned. That’s how you get rid of um… evacuate 300 units of humans.