Bill Boyer, the former Alaska Airlines baggage handler who invented the digEplayer portable in-flight entertainment system and later sold his company to Wencor (which renamed it digEcor), is returning to the world of IFE with an embedded solution that he claims will weigh just under 1 lb at the seat.
Under one blessed pound?!? That’s what the man said in an exclusive interview with RWG. After accounting for the two servers (one for content, the other to support point-of-sale credit card transactions), the weight of the entire system on a 172-seat Boeing 737-800 comes to “under 300 lbs”, says Boyer, noting that these specs are for 7in monitors throughout, but that the weight penalty would be “not much more for the 8.9in screen”.
“Additionally, airlines will not need to take their planes out of service. Installation of the entire system can be accomplished in three overnights. And, if it’s broken, a mechanic can fix it in less than five minutes.”
So how is Boyer accomplishing this feat? Is he a magician? “We’re being creative,” he says cryptically.
Hmmmm. I wonder if this is a wireless IFE solution with an embedded component. If it is, Boyer’s not telling…just yet. His firm, SkyCast Solutions, which is working with an aircraft seat engineer and certification legend, will formally unveil its ultra-lightweight IFE solution at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference and exhibition in September.
Here are just some of the comments made about Boyer’s idea by said legend (according to Boyer):
Video at the weight and cost of audio, now any airline can have simple reliable video on demand with no weight penalty.
This totally changes the video installation equation, video for less than seat refurbishment.
Why hasn’t anyone done this before, it’s perfect and couldn’t get more simple for the airline to install.
Quite the most incisive reduction of non value added components in cabin entertainment ever devised. Cabin entertainment will never be the same again.
Oh yeah, and one more thing. Boyer says he has already secured an airline customer. Who else is looking forward to #APEX11???