For a company that has said it will base its TopSeries next-generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system on the Android operating platform, Thales chief engineer Ken Brady speaks in glowing terms about the Apple iPad, and admits the firm is looking at how it can springboard off of it.
Interviewed for Steve Harvey’s always-interesting The PME Interview, Brady reveals:
“The iPad is going to, I believe, have an awful lot of influence on how IFE actually proceeds. It’s the first carry-on device, which is effectively an entertainment equivalent to what we’re providing in the [IFEC] system, so at one point is a bit of a competitor.
“But it also is an environment which is providing rich development, a lot of applications being developed, and I think if we can leverage how those work, how those look, how those feel on our system, it is going to give us a real direction in this application enhancement, application development arena. It’s a busy, busy world and I think we can leverage off of it.”
Busy indeed! The iPad is even finding its way into the flight deck! So is Thales rethinking Android? That’s not entirely clear. But Brady is watching closely to see how the upcoming OS wars play out – iPhone, Android, the Linux world, he tells Harvey.
Also during the interview Brady reiterates Thales’ stance on 3D for in-flight entertainment, saying it is “not quite ready for prime time”, and cites continuing questions over the current business case for in-flight connectivity.
Now then, speaking of connectivity, the recent in-flight tweet-up of travel writers on Oman Air turned out to be a tweet let-down for a number of reasons, including, I’m told, the fact that at least half of the British Guild of Travel Writers don’t own a Twitter account (a tad shocking, this…though less so after checking out the guild’s web site…iPad what?) and many of those who do have Twitter accounts appear to have gotten sticker shock at the cost of the Wi-Fi. More later!
(Photo above from r_Racer’s Flicker photo stream)