Zhuhai10: Taiwan's SkyGem unveils integrated IFE seat

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Taiwanese in-flight entertainment supplier SkyGem has revealed an integrated in-flight entertainment seat based on its Sky 1000 IFE solution at Airshow China 2010.

The integration will make Sky 1000 more competitive, SkyGem general manager Manpak Yip says. Sky 1000 does not yet have any customers.

"What Thales and Panasonic are doing with their i5000 and eX2 systems, we are doing but we are smaller, lighter, and use less power," Yip says. He estimates Sky 1000 is one-third the weight of the i5000 and eX2 solutions.

Each set of three economy seats requires only one cable and each individual seat offers a power plug and USB connection but only uses eight watts of power, Yip says.

Two multipoint control units can fit in one overhead bin and run IFE, with redundancy, for 150 seats, Yip says. He adds that SkyGem offers additional MCUs "because some airlines want more than 1000 hours of video and need more than one terabyte of storage."

Seven and nine inch personal screens are available in economy while business and first class seats can accommodate 12" and 15" screens. Sky 1000 features an OLED screen with a glass coating, similar to the one on Apple's iPad tablet computer.

The IFE weight savings permits SkyGem's seat manufacturer, China Aerospace Life-Support Industries (ALI), to reduce the strength and thus weight of its seats, Yip says. He adds preliminary tests indicate the seats can withstand 16g forces per regulatory requirements.

Yip says satellite-equipped aircraft can use Sky 1000's WebKit compatibility to display web pages built for Apple's iOS platform. "If you can write a webpage for the iPhone and iPad you can display it on flights," Yip says. Sky 1000's features also include high-definition TV.

SkyGem is also offering a Crew Management Platform on Apple iOS and Android platforms to manage the IFE along with food and beverage orders.