INTERIORS: SkyCast reveals tray table IFEC system

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Lower your tray table for the next chapter in in-flight entertainment, urges SkyCast Solutions, which lays claim to having developed the only tray-integrated, seat-centric IFEC system in the world.

The patent-pending TrayVu system, with a net weight of less than 2lb per seat, is poised to "truly change the industry", said Greg Latimer, chief marketing officer at SkyCast.

"While that sounds a bit dramatic," he said, "we feel our TrayVu IFE approach represents a step-change for seat-centric IFE. A step-change not only in the nuts and bolts of weight, cost, installation, and maintenance, but also our approach to the customer experience and, most importantly, making IFE a significant source of ancillary revenue for our airline customers."

SkyCast initially intends to integrate the Samsung 8.9in Galaxy tab into the TrayVu system, noting "it's an Android world". The device "nests behind the tray and you'll see it when the tray is in the upright position. But you can actually see through the tray, which is part of our secret sauce, as this gives guaranteed, uninterrupted advertising time for the airline," said. Latimer.

The heavy lifting for SkyCast is on the software side, as the firm is putting a lot of time and energy into the point-of-sale aspect. "We really think there is so much value for the airline in bringing that cash register to the passenger and getting it out of the hands of the flight attendants," said Latimer.

SkyCast does not anticipate financing installs. "We initially do expect airlines to pay for the system, but at the rates we're able to charge and the installation costs it's so much cheaper than other systems. There are no seat modifications, only two servers and wiring is so unobtrusive. We're working with Aviation Technical Services in Everett; we estimate a three-day install, and total cost will be not much more than if they put just [in-seat] power in the airplane. So we are lowering the barrier to the airlines, and we can talk net profits very quickly for the airlines," noted the SkyCast executive.

Based in Seattle and founded this year, SkyCast is a start-up firm. But its three principal executives are no strangers to the airline industry. Bill Boyer, the former Alaska Airlines baggage handler who invented the digEplayer portable in-flight entertainment system, is founder and CEO of SkyCast.

Latimer is a 19-year airline veteran, having held executive marketing positions with Alaska Airlines since 2005 before joining SkyCast in July. COO Peter Parsons has acted as counsel, advisor and a board member of technology-based companies since 1974.