Connected in-flight entertainment (IFE) applications that provide airlines with fresh ancillary revenue streams and passengers with access to social networking are prominently featured in Panasonic Avionics' new IFE software.
The manufacturer reveals it is in talks with Apple about joining the iTunes Affiliate Program. Once Panasonic meets Apple's requirements, it will be able to offer passengers the ability to generate wish lists of their favourite iTunes via the IFE system and have these lists sent to their email addresses for purchase on the ground. An airline that offers this service will get a piece of the revenue.
Passengers who want to connect to friends and family through social networking can do so with Panasonic's new FaceBook and Twitter applications. The firm has settled on SeatTweet as the name for the latter solution, and expects it to be highly popular.
Additionally, various "moods" to reflect different travellers' personas have been developed for Panasonic's IFE, including "all business", "done for the day", "on vacation" and "ready to roll", says Panasonic product manager, applications, services and content management Zach Cohen. These are specifically tailored with content and services to match each persona.
The "marriage of in-flight connectivity and IFE" allows Panasonic to make IFE systems significantly more dynamic, says Panasonic director of corporate sales and marketing Neil James.
"The IFE acts as a business platform. We provide technology to enable whatever the airlines' desires are."