Making its products truly available to all is the theme at FlightPath3D, with the launch of its Kids Map and Accessibility Map, all supported by refined use of artificial intelligence.

The company’s president, Duncan Jackson, is excited by the innovations introduced at AIX to promote this goal. 


Source: Flightpath3d

“With Kids Map, we’ve built a really rich 3D map to add something specific for that audience. We’ve taken the in-flight tracker and created this wonderful 3D world that just shouts,” he says. “There is some really tempting stuff, all specific to the airline’s route and destination. For example, you might be flying over somewhere famous for animals, so the kids can tap the screen and there’s an animal quiz. The correct answer brings up an animal picture which the child can actually play with in full 3D.

”There are also other puzzles, such as on-screen jigsaws and pairing games. We’ve built this new immersive world for kids to explore and it’s all gamified, inviting them to want to finish certain actions – plus it has an educational element to it. 

“This is very sponsorable content, but it’s whimsical too and can be specific to an airline and its destinations. As well as being available on the seat back, Kids Map can also be put on a mobile phone or tablet,” Jackson confirms. 

Also new is the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the main map product. “Imagine a New York to Los Angeles flight. The system is loaded to give you updates along the journey, including where you are and destination ideas, such as prompting you to look at the ‘must-see’ museums in LA. The prompts come up in the same manner as dialogue on WhatsApp or text messages. This is the first time the IFE system actually has a conversation with you. And because it’s informing you, it may be able to sell you something,” he notes. 

“Its official launch is here – under the name of LUCI (Location-based Utility Companion that’s Intelligent) – but it is now flying on over 500 aircraft with both Southwest and WestJet. My estimate is that we’ll have this on 2,000 aircraft by the end of next year based on demand and orders that are coming our way.” 

The AI-enhanced information will also be readable by audio, so that the blind can sit and get a full description of the flight’s progress, including what’s being overflown and what’s going on at the destination.

“It’s part of our company roadmap for accessibility,” Jackson reports, “which leads us to something quite new, our Accessibility Map. The most important thing here for the partially sighted and/or neurodiverse is for it to have high contrast. On our greyscale map, for example, you can read the city names clearly. We abstract all of the details so it’s not challenging the reader,” Jackson explains. 

The accessibility map will be flying on Air New Zealand later in 2024.