Given the rapid pace of development in consumer electronics, particularly against the comparatively lengthy timeframe to develop and certificate an aircraft, in-flight entertainment technology providers have to work hard to stay in step with consumer expectations.
Brett Bleacher, hardware advanced technologies director at Thales Avionics, has to spend as much time as possible thinking creatively while keeping technology development moving forward to practical, fieldable products.
Out on the horizon is holographic projection and directional sound that would do away with headphones, especially in premium-class pod seats.
Closer to flying is a gesture-controlled version of Thales's Avant premium-class system. The concept as shown at Apex has been dramatically improved in the past year.
Literally within reach is the Android-based wireless touch screen controller for Avant. Bleacher likes this offering, as its smartphone-like feel keeps the system up to date with consumer expectations.