AirAsia believes the technological strides being made in tablet devices means that within three years its passengers will be able to bring their own entertainment gadgets on board to keep them entertained.
"Within two years screens will be A4 flexible pieces of paper," says Zaman Ahmad, AirAsia head of customer experience and technology, speaking at ILA. "The unit cost per device will come down and everyone will own one."
AirAsia wants to be at the forefront of providing in-flight entertainment via the concept of "bring your own device" (BYOD). The airline has signed a deal with Tune Box to be system integrator for its IFE solution, says Ahmad. Tune Box is the digital media arm of Tune Group - a shareholder in AirAsia.
Tune Box, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in 2011, will work separately with IFE content providers and technology suppliers to deliver AirAsia's BYOD solution, says Ahmad.
Tune Box is already in discussions with vendors such as Panasonic and last year announced a partnership with Samsung to turn its Android-powered Galaxy tablet into a portable IFE solution.
As it looks to improve the passenger experience for its customers, Ahmad says AirAsia is convinced a BYOD solution is the only one that is cost-effective or practical for a low-cost operator to introduce IFE. "It makes no sense to invest in a fixed [IFE] system," he adds.