INTERIORS: Panasonic goes native with new IFEC system

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Panasonic Avionics is aiming to revolutionise the passenger experience with the launch of its latest generation "natively broadband" in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) system, which uses an immersive interactive interface based on the Android operating system.

The eX3 platform, Panasonic's 10th generation IFEC solution, is able to offer broadband connectivity and GSM services, high definition functionality, personalisation, onboard social networking, thousands of applications, and high-end video games to each passenger, regardless of cabin class. It has already been acquired by several undisclosed customers.

"There are an awful lot of customers out there that have made an investment in the X series [of IFEC systems]. And this [eX3] is taking the reliability of [predecessor] eX2 and the installed base of eX2 and making sure we can preserve that going forward, revolutionising the passenger experience to really make the transition from an entertainment system to a true business platform," says Panasonic Avionics executive director of corporate sales and marketing Neil James.

While the system can be sold standalone without in-flight connectivity, it is designed to be natively connected. "It doesn't have to have connectivity. It just gets kind of on steroids if you use it," says James.

"So all the applications and functionality will use the benefits of the thin client Android approach and be able to leverage connectivity in a tremendous way. Whether that's personalisation, whether it's the airline being able to take care of CRM issues, whether it is to just bring new types of content to the passenger, everything has been designed to be a natively broadband system."