INTERIORS: Panasonic launches first application store for IFEC

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Software developers will have the opportunity to see their ideas fly with Panasonic Avionics' launch of the world's first application store to serve airline customers of its in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems.

Implemented in partnership with software developer CoKinetic Systems, the Panasonic Avionics App Store aims to tap into the energy and excitement of the rapidly expanding open platform application developer community.

"The Panasonic Avionics App Store will support this community of developers using widely available tools and processes to create many different types of applications from traditional maps, games and user interfaces to revenue generating transaction applications for merchants and airlines," said Panasonic Avionics CEO Paul Margis at the APEX conference.

Panasonic App store, Billypix
 © Billypix

Adds CoKinetic CEO Kris Stevens: "With the launch of the Panasonic Avionics App Store, the time to market for new content should be dramatically shorter, which would establish a new pace of innovation in IFEC. Developers would then see their ideas flying in a matter of weeks, and passengers will enjoy the same type of diverse, quirky, cutting-edge content they've come to expect in other market segments."

The App Store will serve as the storefront and aggregation point for existing and future applications for Panasonic IFEC systems. Airlines, through a secure log in, will be able to see apps available, apps under development and access the community of developers should they want their own apps developed.

Meanwhile, content owners and merchants who want their own applications developed and made available to the airlines will be able to access the App Store to reach out to the developer community and have their apps created.

The target date for the Panasonic App Store to open for business is first quarter 2011. Development of the store comes at a time when Panasonic is investing heavily in research and development to potentially use the Android operating system for its next generation IFEC system. "I think the concept of an open but moderated [IFEC] platform will absolutely be required in the industry in a short period of time," says Panasonic Avionics executive director of corporate sales and marketing Neil James.