Seat-centric IFE. Wireless IFE. Seat-centric IFE with wireless IFE applications. Portable IFE. Server-centric IFE. We're seeing it all at this week's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. But here is a new one - digEcor's embedded portable (I know you're thinking oxymoron but bear with me).
Above is an admittedly grainy snap of an install of the new embedded (well, semi-embedded) portable on a Gulf Air Boeing 737. And here's digEcor's statement on the offering:
digEcor launches first embedded portable player on Gulf Air
Springville, UT April 7, 2011 - As of April 1, the digEplayer L7 is available inflight as a semi-embedded IFE offering. Having launched on a 737-700 flying from Bahrain to Milan and Geneva, every passenger in economy class is now able to enjoy all of the same content normally available on Gulf Air's existing handhelds via the new seat back units.
"As many may know, we have had an interest for some time in adapting and certifying our proprietary handheld system as a seat back solution. We appreciate the partnership with Gulf Air that has allowed us to realize that goal," remarked digEcor President Brad Heckel. "This important milestone is the first step as we develop a robust seat back option that will address the needs of many airlines today."
EASA certified, the embedded L7 uses in-seat power, features a PA interrupt, and is seat centric as all content is stored locally on the device. Currently, the system mainly consists of the L7; though with other projects in the works, digEcor plans to continue development on the project and will roll out new features and functionality in the coming months.
digEcor CEO Brent Wood commented, "Gulf Air has been flying the L7 as a portable for several months and now has embedded the player. More planes will follow this conversion and L10 (ten inch) players are also being prepared for other planes and premium passengers. This allows an airline to purchase an L series portable player and then at any time in the future, embed that player into the back of the seat. This protects the initial investment in a portable player as it becomes a 'Mix and Match' device for the airlines."
Added Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Samer Majali, "The embedding of L7 players on Gulf Air's fleet is a further demonstration of service-enhancement to our passengers. With its new features and functionality, I am sure the embedded player in seat backs will raise the passenger inflight entertainment to the next level as we introduce the major revamp to our onboard entertainment in coming months."