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MARCH/APRIL 2018 ISSUE FIVE

entertainment & connectivity

brought to you by

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AWARDS

Visit us at AIX 2018 Booth 4B11

Pick and Mix BoardConnect –configure your cabin platform See a movie. In the stratosphere. Listen to music. Check the news. Or go shopping. A world of digital experiences. Easy to access. At 450 miles per hour. Satisfy many demands. With a single platform. Completely flexible. BoardConnect. Wishes come true.

Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim info@LHsystems.com | www.LHsystems.com

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WELCOME / 3

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

MARCH/APRIL 2018 ISSUE FIVE

entertainment & connectivity

brought to you by

EDITOR

Julie Baxter WRITERS

Richard Williams Benjamin Coren PUBLISHER

Sue Williams BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Craig McQuinn CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner LEAD DESIGNER

Louisa Horton DESIGNER

Zoe Tarrant

J

ust as technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, so it is while we are on the move too. Airlines, rail operators and cruise companies seem unanimous in their recognition of the importance of connectivity. The challenge is to clearly understand how to get a return on the investment it requires and how to best use it to enhance the passenger experience. Annual exhibitions such as AIX and WTCE in Hamburg are abuzz with insights and inspiration. They give the industry a chance to showcase and share new developments, ideas and innovations and this year we'll be there to explore the additional attractions of the new Passenger Technology Solutions event, set to identify new connections News between technology and the onboard experience. In this, our latest review of the Latest deals and onboard entertainment and connectivity developments world, written by Richard Williams and our new technology contributor Benjamin Coren, Trends we've asked those in the know to tap into the Innovations and insights trends they see and share their predictions on how technology on the move can transform New tech show every journey and enhance operator profits. Passenger Technology Enjoy!

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Solutions preview

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Clare Hunter

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge ONBOARD HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE'S ENTERTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY SUPPLEMENT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BMI PUBLISHING BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON, SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233 E: ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. ©BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2017 IMAGES: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE TECH WINNERS ANNOUNCED APRIL 9, IN HAMBURG

Happy returns

Monetising tech investments Julie Baxter, EDITOR

CONSOLIDATION TIME?

A hefty 94% of airlines surveyed in SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights report plans to invest in wireless services for crew by 2020 and 91% plan wireless investments for passengers. With an eye on ancillary revenues, 72% most want to acquire a destination services app. They clearly see the benefits of the connected aircraft, and have ideas on how they might get payback. So what's next? JanPeter Gaense, head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, has predicted the future 'professionalising' of the industry and 'huge consolidation in the wireless IFE market, with only a handful of players surviving'. If he's right, we’re all facing a fascinating next chapter in airline tech. We look forward to reporting on it all and seeing you at the forthcoming shows.

Richard Williams, WRITER

17

Focus on...

Blockchain technology and what it means

18

In conversation... ...with Immfly

20

How to...

...get the wifi you pay for

23

Focus on... Bluebox Aviation

24

Content choices IFE beyond movies & music

26

Case study

Passengera gets on track with the Bernini Express

27

Focus on...

Chatbot innovations

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4 / NEWS UPDATES

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

News updates

GOOD TO KNOW NEWS, UPDATES AND DEVELOPMENTS

NEW DEALS FOR AIRFI

PANASONIC AVIONICS CORPORATION

FREE WIFI ON BA

PANASONIC IFE FOR KENYA AIRWAYS

British Airways is partnering with Visa to offer a free hour’s wifi on its connected long haul aircraft. 118 will be retro fitted with the 2Ku wifi system by Gogo over the next two years. ba.com; gogoair.com

Panasonic Avionics will provide IFE services for 24 Kenya Airways aircraft including 10 Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3. The eFX system delivers entertainment and a moving map; while the eX1 adds high-definition display and surround sound audio. The eX3 system can deliver over 700 hours of audio and video entertainment. panasonic.aero; kenya-airways.com

EAN SET FOR SUMMER

The European Aviation Network (EAN) – the hybrid S-band satellite and air-to-ground (ATG) service developed by Deutsche Telekom, Inmarsat and Nokia – will be ready to provide commercial connectivity services by the end of Q2 this year. The EAN consists 300 base stations across Europe. inmarsat.com

AirFi has a new IFE deal with Danish carrier Jet Time, flying eight planes out of Copenhagen. It will supply its new Venus portable streaming wireless box to the airline's ATR 42/72s and B737s. It is running trials with a bus operator and its AirFi Indonesia JV has deals with Sriwijaya and NAM Air. airfi.aero

UNITED SIGNS DEAL

United Airlines has contracted Viasat to install its latest generation IFEC system on more than 70 aircraft, including at least 58 of its new Boeing 737 MAXs. United, which already uses Viasat connectivity on 300 aircraft, will use the Ka-band system including the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. viasat.com

AMAZON PRIME GETS ONBOARD

Eurostar is introducing a range of critically-acclaimed Amazon Prime video content onboard its fleet of e320 trains via a new app. The cross-channel train company will be the first transport operator in Europe to feature Amazon Prime video onboard. This is is in addition to Eurostar’s existing line-up of 300+ TV shows and films. eurostar.com

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NEWS UPDATES / 5

VIRGIN ATLANTIC PIONEERS IFE FOR THE BLIND

Virgin Atlantic has launched an accessible IFE (aIFE™) platform designed specifically for passengers with visual impairments. The first global airline to make IFE accessible to passengers with sight loss on its whole fleet, the platform has been developed with Bluebox Aviation Systems and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. It has a fully-customised iPad-based user interface enhanced for IFE. Its features include: controls and menus that are easy to detect and navigate for different types of sight loss; support for multiple languages; closed captions and audio-described content; and all the security of the original Hollywood-approved Bluebox Ai platform which offers early-window content. blueboxaviation.com

BLUEBOX FOR COBALT AIR

Startup airline Cobalt Air has signed a three-year deal with Bluebox Aviation Systems for the deployment of the Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE platform across its Airbus A319100s and A320-200s, based AIX in Cyprus. Andrew Madar, IN NUMBERS ceo, Cobalt Air, says: "As we make the rapid transition from lowcost to full-service 180+ 550+ 145+ carrier, we recognise airlines first-time exhibitors exhibitors the role that a highquality IFE experience has to play." 1000+ 18,400+ blueboxaviation.com airline attendees

visitors

THALES FOR GARUDA

Garuda Indonesia has selected the Thales Avant IFE system for its A330neo aircraft fleet. The system features highdefinition monitors for Business and Economy classes. Business passengers will also get Avii touchscreen handsets, an advanced android-based smartphone-like controller. The contract is to equip 14 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, to be delivered in 2019. garuda-indonesia.com; thalesgroup.com

SEE YOU AT AIX...

The Onboard Hospitality team looks forward to seeing you all at this year's Aircraft Interiors Expo at the Messe, Hamburg, Germany, April 10-12. AIX is again part of the Passenger Experience Week, co-located with World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo and the new Passenger Technology Solutions event (see page 8-9) focused on the connected journey. On Monday April 9, the Passenger Experience Conference will highlight new ideas on the evolution of the passenger experience, onboard environments and services. aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

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6 / TRENDS UPDATE

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Trends update TECH TALK TO WATCH OUT FOR...

Data is a currency. Today's consumers understand the value of their personal data and expect something valuable in return. PAUL COLLEY vp software development, Spafax

WEARABLES FOR WELLBEING

From AR/VR headsets to GPS smartwatches, the main focus in smart wearables is likely to be in the area of health and comfort monitoring. Imagine glasses for the crew showing holographic passenger details and preferences, which could also support health regulation compliance. Passengers will probably organise their own service ecosystems around their favourite wearables brand.

VIRTUAL REALITY

Sales of AR and VR headsets are estimated to increase by 25% this year over last, according to the Consumer Technology LOCAL Association. SkyLights’ LANGUAGE second-generation AlloSky Travis the Translator, a new VR headset was unveiled device being tested by airlines, last year during the APEX can translate into 80 languages in expo. In January it was real time, with a Sim card or wifi successfully tested by support. Similarly, translation JAL and Air France, Joon earbuds, from Google, may Corsair and Jetfly are also be used to aid onboard set to be among the first communications. airlines to offer passengers this virtual reality experience.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having an influence on multiple industries, including aviation. In September, Finnair launched Finn on Facebook Messenger, so joining the 14% of airlines, including Lufthansa, KLM and Icelandair, that use chatbots powered by AI. According to SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends survey, 68% of airlines will use AI-powered chatbots by 2020. AI is also set to almost certainly play a role in real-time predictive pricing, prevention of overbooking, and the use of robotics as part of the passenger experience.

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ESSENTIAL INSIGHTS SITA’s latest survey, the 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights shows over a third of carriers expect to receive aircraft deliveries with connectivity already installed within the next three years. This compares with just over a fifth in the previous year’s report. Connectivity is fast becoming a 'must have' feature. sitaonair.aero The report also showed:

69% of airlines are committed to a major programme or trial to establish full satellite broadband connectivity 43% of airlines perceive enhanced passenger experience as the key benefit of connectivity 24% of airlines have invested in wireless IFE to passengers’ own devices 46% plan to invest in wireless IFE to passengers’ own devices by the end of 2020 72% want to add a destination services

TRENDS UPDATE / 7

AUGMENTED SALES BOOSTS

 Airline passengers may soon be using AR to help them book flights. The AR travel shopping solution ARvis shows them life-sized 3D seat maps so they can compare legroom and permitted luggage sizes; while some airlines are using AR to show lounge facilities and cabins to inspire upgrades. Emirates is using AR inflight for a kids' soft toy which comes with a gift card that shows a 3D animation when scanned.

CONNECTIVITY

Over 80 airlines now offer inflight connectivity at 35,000 feet BEAM and wifi has evolved from a 'niceME UP to-have' to a 'must-have' for Watch out for Holographic both leisure and business travel markets. Airlines jumping on Beam Forming (HBF) technology the bandwagon face a huge developed by Pivotal Commware. It decision in deciding which sends targeted radio waves directly service and which suppliers to individual devices are most appropriate for their and is a solution which could brand, routes, passengers and provide home and office profitability. Joe Leader, APEX ceo, wifi speeds in the air. recommends making this a priority. He says: “For airlines taking their first step into connectivity, act now and act quickly."

app

DATA-DRIVEN SOLUTIONS

61% want to develop a duty free shopping app by 2020

Data driven solutions are increasingly being used to predict consumer demands and trends, provide forecast modelling and connect passengers with relevant products. Black Swan is among those using data science to help companies gain a better understanding of their customers so they can offer data-driven solutions that optimise the inflight experience via entertainment and advertising.

47% of connected carriers want to add infotainment to personal devices – namely news, magazines and books 43% of connected carriers want to add inflight communication services onboardhospitality.com

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8 / EVENT PREVIEW

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

New to Hamburg 2018

Finding new tech solutions

P

assenger Technology Solutions (PTS) is a new event showcasing the latest technology products and services transforming the onboard passenger journey. The event is being run as part of the Passenger Experience Week alongside the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg this April 10-12. It has been launched in response to the increasing competition for passenger loyalty and will have a focus on

technologies that enable a more Industry disruptors and trend spotters seamless, inter-connected journey and will also contribute to the programme those that can help give operators a including Black Swan Data, design competitive edge. consultancy Reaktor and brand experience Archana Sharma, exhibition director, agency branding.aero. says: “The launch of Passenger Technology Sharma adds: “For the thousands of Solutions comes at a transformative time airlines and rail operators who visit for the passenger experience industry. Passenger Experience Week each year, Today’s passengers PTS will be the not only expect the place to source same connectivity innovative, techPassenger Technology and seamless enabled passenger communications Solutions aims to inspire solutions and hear throughout their from industrycompanies across the journey as they have entire travel ecosystem leaders who can on the ground, they join the dots of the now demand it.” passenger technology eco-system". Speakers at the event will discuss topics Seize sales with ECR such as: "Is the CXO (Customer Experience Amongst the exhibitors ECR Retail Systems Officer) the new CEO?" and "Should you will be showcasing its electronic point of be a trendsetter or a trend spotter?" The sale (EPoS) hard technology with supports educational programme, exploring how buy-on-board programmes. The onboard tech can be 'in the DNA' of the passenger retail tech specialist is also running a journey, will feature input from Jorge De competition in Onboard Hospitality offering Luis Sierra, cabin interior design manager airlines the chance to win a six-month at Airbus, as well as representatives from trial of its systems. For full details of the Norwegian and U.S. rail operator Amtrak.

PTS ESSENTIALS This event debuts

10-12 APRIL 2018

located in Hall A2 in the Hamburg Messe, Germany.

Passenger Technology Solutions-v2.indd 8

3 days of tech debate & networking to explore the future of travel

Among start-ups and tech pioneers confirmed to exhibit are Guestlogix, Aviget, KIU System Solutions and duty free disruptor, airfree

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EVENT PREVIEW / 9

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

competition check out the latest issue of the magazine – page 154-155 – or visit onboardhospitality.com. ECR’s AirPoS software delivers data vital for customer revenue management and for developing passenger profiles based on purchasing preferences. ECR Retail Systems stand: PTS35

Project Icarus Cross-platform advertising specialist Motus will be showcasing technologies which deliver content to online and offline publishers and provide data analytics and insights. Motus' parent company, Cellock Ltd, is participating in an EU-funded project called Icarus, which started on January 1 this year. The aim of the project is to bring together aerospace, tourism, health,

security, transport, retail, weather and public sectors to accelerate data-driven collaborations. The hope is it will address the barriers blocking the adoption of big data projects in the aviation industry, and enable new aviation-related big data initiatives for EU-based companies. This could include the launch of new business services in aviation and more evidence-based analytics. PACE, which develops software products for the aviation industry, is also participating in the project and will be exhibiting in the adjoining AIX Motus stand: PTS54

Mobipax focuses on blockchain and AI potential Thailand-based startup mobipax will exhibit to show its inflight cabin service app which incorporates blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve customer service, customer recognition, claims management and inflight sales. The cloud-based mobile solution gives flight attendants access to information including passenger preference data and customer feedback, enabling them to offer a better, more personalised service. Since it runs on Android and iOS devices, the app requires no up front investment, instead earning revenue through a per-flight fee. Mobipax stand: PTS52

Airfree reinvents shopping Airfree is an innovative technology allowing a seamless e/m-commerce experience inflight. It digitally connects travellers to duty free retailers and service providers by offering a digital marketplace dedicated to inflight shopping, allowing carriers to use flight time as an opportunity for valuable incremental sales. The company will give the first live demonstration of its technology during PTS by reproducing the connectivity conditions of an aircraft (satellite connectivity bandwidth and latency), so visitors can see first hand how the platform is designed to minimise bandwidth consumption and optimise loading time for passengers. airfree stand: PTS24 •

The show in numbers

The event will explore the potential of technology to join the dots across the passenger journey

1,000+

Learn more about the event at

AIRLINE ATTENDEES

18,400 VISITORS

pass

ns.com

ysolutio

g echnolo engert

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to concerns and empowering passengers with a social media-style interaction. WA User data is extremely valuable in terms of tailoring media and content. Companies realise this is a key part of their intellectual property. There is already much data out there, not just on the user but on behaviour and consumption patterns. The real opportunity is tapping into this and using it to the benefit of travellers without breaking their trust. PC Data is a currency. Today’s consumer understands the value of their personal data and expects something valuable in return for sharing it. Our research shows that passengers want personalised offers delivered to them at key moments across their trip. The nature and timing of these offers can vary across demographics but passengers can expect an increase in personalised offers and recommendations, especially as brands and vendors work towards integrating more digital services across the journey.

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What benefits can airlines offer passengers for sharing their valuable personal data? GO Having the latest profile data for their passengers enables airlines to further personalise the services they offer, boosting customer satisfaction. For example, by understanding how frequently a passenger flies, their onboard, shopping or content preferences and habits, an airline can provide tailored services to make that passenger more comfortable. They can also give loyalty miles to reward them for their valued custom. Data sharing also allows airlines to support a smoother passenger journey, from providing real-time travel or disruption information or concierge services. Then there is the hugely important customer feedback and engagement element of data sharing, enabling airlines to respond

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As airlines hunt for ways to turn investment in technology into revenue returns, Richard Williams asks key players how tech trends and the data being gathered can be used to evolve the onboard product

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Happy returns

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MONETISING INVESTMENT / 11

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

How will changes in mobile mobile retail and media industries. The priority now is financial transactions help? facilitating this on moving vessels and in remote GO Mobile, contactless and card-less destinations with the security and reliability payments are increasingly popular, as is onboard consumers expect. PC Device pairing to onboard connectivity. It follows then, systems is the trend to watch in that mobile payment will mobile transactions: services definitely boost transactions such as Level’s ‘Pair and Pay’ are onboard, making payment a Data is currency. Today's on the rise. More airlines will frictionless, easy experience. consumer understands offer this kind of branded Mobile operator billing could its value and expects ancillary revenue opportunity become an alternative solution something in return via a secure portal that in the future too and we are passengers can trust. working to integrate mainstream card-less payment How are apps evolving? Could we capabilities into onboard passenger services to boost see one app for multiple airlines? user satisfaction and revenues for partners. WA The ability to browse the internet, make GO Tailored airline apps are considered by purchases, upgrade and change travel plans is key and airlines to be a key asset in their digital brand most of the enabling technology exists already in engagement with their passengers, promoting

Q.

THOSE IN THE KNOW

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GREGORY OUILLON cto SITAONAIR

WALÉ ADEPOJU evp media & content Global Eagle

PAUL COLLEY vp software development Spafax

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12 / MONETISING MONETISINGINVESTMENT INVESTMENT

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

loyalty, sales, journey and disruption support, and so It’s not clear what that value would be for the airline at on. They are also increasingly used to provide access this stage. What impact and authentication for ancillary services, such as for could VR and AR accessing inflight connectivity, have onboard? hence tying apps even more closely GO We certainly expect to see a to each airline’s distinct brand and Airline apps are number of proof of concepts and experience. increasingly being WA Airline apps have played a key ‘cool’ demos around virtual reality used to provide role in the development of a more (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in access to ancillary digital travel experience and we the coming months. However, have been active in providing there are still significant hurdles to services uniquely packaged content for overcome. There is still a gap in specific airline apps. Entertainment apps content, whether onboard or on the ground. You can be within the airlines’ core app or need to have really cool content to justify the stand-alone depending on the investment and meet passenger expectations in VR airline’s branding preference, and or AR. What’s more, the technology lifecycle is still have become a key part of each very fast and equipment pretty fragile, so the airline’s value proposition. investment would be fairly short-lived at this point. Some functions can be common There is a lot of progress being made in motion across various airlines and a single app sickness control in VR/AR, but it may still prove fairly covering multiple airlines could make challenging to manage inflight, when you take into sense for partner airlines or other travel account the compound motion of the VR/AR and the providers such as travel retailers looking aircraft. There are also safety hazards related to how to add inflight entertainment and passengers will react and behave depending on the connectivity into their own services. VR/AR content in a flight setting. On a practical note, PC Airlines will always value and the upkeep of an inflight VR/AR service, in terms of protect their passenger base. This cleaning and disinfection, could be a costly additional means that a shared service app that process compared to headphones for IFE as now. WA We see VR as a part of the overall IFE onboard. allows access to the passengers is Global Eagle was one of the first companies to get unlikely unless there is value in involved in the space with our partnership with the airlines allowing the access.

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MONETISING MONETISINGINVESTMENT INVESTMENT / 13

Skylights. VR gives passengers yet another dimension to experience high-quality content while travelling. In addition, we also demonstrated AR as an enhancement to our apps and games. PC Opinion in our industry around whether AR and VR technology can be successfully integrated within the passenger experience varies widely, and rightly so, as the brands and creators of the technology continue to struggle with user issues such as comfort, motion sickness and market sustainability. Brands still face several ‘experience’ obstacles with the technology, but both AR and VR entertainment are on the horizon and should be on airlines’ agenda for likely future investment. VR’s killer app has yet to appear. Once this has happened, expect to see an accelerated adoption for inflight use.

Q.

up-to-date, flexible and cost-effective as technology What other changes are coming and offerings evolve. in the IFEC offer onboard? We also expect a greater breadth of content to be GO Airlines have served to a greater range of become more mature with devices. Whilst there is appetite their IFEC decisions, from airlines to provide realBeyond the technology time broadcast programmes, increasingly unbundling their the biggest change is in we believe that a linear TV chosen IFC and IFE providers creativity, tailoring and solutions. Technologies offering onboard is becoming content to enhance and lifecycles are different, as much less attractive. Airlines are service providers’ knowspecific experiences increasingly seek to provide how and capabilities. It does dynamic and tailor-made make sense, therefore, for airlines to choose their channels that provide origin and destination-based preferred, best-in-class option for each IFEC content and mix premium events such as sports with component at a given time for their fleet, and stay airline-specific or general content. Most of this will be delivered from the ground, whether it is offered by IFEC service providers, or through partnerships with big name content creators already in the market such as Amazon, Netflix or Apple. WA Technology is the key driver of change in IFEC. Most of the innovations relate to mobility. Significant change in satellite communications technology and costs will accelerate change over the next couple of years. Beyond technology, the biggest change is in creativity, for example in the tailoring of content for specific audiences and moods, and to enhance specific experiences. •

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CONNECTED AIRCRAFT CONNECTED CABIN CONNECTED CREW Airfi-DPS.indd 2

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THE WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING ONBOARD RETAIL AND CABIN MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY SUITE FOR IOS AND ANDROID, FROM THE WORLD’S BEST SELLING PORTABLE ONBOARD WIFI PROVIDER Processing over one million transactions a month, Connected Crew by AirFi is revolutionising the way airlines and other mass transit operators create new onboard digital ancillary revenues. With its patented offline payment technology and out-of-the-box compatibility with AirFi cabin WiFi, the possibilities are endless.

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Untitled-1 1

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ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

FOCUS ON / 17

Unblocking blockchains The world of blockchain technology is complex and cryptic. Benjamin Coren cracks the code to find out how it could work for you

B

lockchain technology is set to change the way we exchange monetary values and information digitally, but what does it mean for your business? It helps first to understand that blockchain is a database technology that adds an additional level of security, and can enable digital transactions more safely and transparently. It is decentralised, so exchanges between different parties don't require an intermediary, such as a bank. Sarah Pavan, head of Amadeus Innovation Partnership Program, explains: “For blockchains to work each transaction must be verified by every component of the network. This means every transaction that takes place on a blockchain network is transparent and cannot be changed – which is why it is such a reliable way of sending value.”

How it can work for you As it stands, it is common for numerous stakeholders to work together, “yet much of the data within the travel industry isn’t shared or ends up siloed in an organisation, when it could be useful to others”, adds Pavan, who highlights baggage tracking as an example. Airlines do not always have access

“If utilised properly and across the industry blockchain technology could allow for greater collaboration, as information could be shared easily and securely," says Pavan. “It also has the potential to make loyalty schemes work harder for travellers, as points could be shared Need to know easily and act more as Businesses need to be cash does.” aware of blockchain There are still Blockchain technology because challenges. Each party technology allows although there is unlikely within a blockchain for greater to be a sudden shift over needs to validate a collaboration and to blockchain-based transaction before it secure information is approved and that databases, they are a sharing significant innovation is not always a quick and offer many process. And there are potential benefits, especially as also constraints on how many transactions more businesses adopt them. can be processed per second. One of the biggest benefits It is still early days for the technology is the security they offer and difficult to predict its impact. However, and the integrity of the data once technical issues are ironed out and they store, encrypted and adoption becomes more widespread it will validated. certainly be a technology to watch. •

to information from ground-handling services or airports but if a bag is tracked in a blockchain network, all players involved can have a clear, up-to-date view of the bag's journey and can collaborate more effectively to get it to the right place.

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18 / IN CONVERSATION WITH...

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Jimmy von-Korff Martinez CO-FOUNDER, IMMFLY

Richard Williams asks the co-founder of Immfly about the origins, activities and potential of its up-and-coming onboard digital platform

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mmfly has come a long way in a short time, developing a highly flexible digital platform.

Q. How did the business begin?

Immfly was born from an idea I had with my co-founder, Pablo Linz. We realised that the aviation industry really lacked an innovative system to enable airlines to interact digitally with passengers in an autonomous way. We founded the company, based in Barcelona, in 2013 with the primary objective of enabling airlines to fulfil their digital strategy across channels and enhance the inflight passenger experience. The early years were dominated by seeking external investment from venture capital firms and clients and establishing ourselves in the market. Then everything started to progress with the installation of our IFE system in an Iberia Express aircraft, and we succeeded in equipping the airline’s whole fleet (21 aircraft in total). From then on we have been evolving and maturing, developing our inflight onboard digital platform, and winning orders for over 450 aircraft for the likes of Easyjet, Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways, Air Nostrum, and Jetlease, among others.

Q. What are the main characteristics of your wireless entertainment system?

A. The Immfly dynamic digital platform is highly flexible and adapts to suit all airlines. Monetisation and best-inclass technology which enables quick

innovation are its key characteristics. It has a 100% operating focus to ensure we offer the best solution for each airline’s specific needs. Passengers can access the solution via their own smart devices through an onboard wireless network. Once connected to Immfly, they can access entertainment modules, destination services and flight information. Multiple content is available such as TV shows, movies, music, kids’ shows, games, press and magazines, audio and ebooks, as well as an innovative private chat channel which lets them talk to other passengers and cabin crew.

Our technological breakthough is that the system works by remote control, without human interaction

Q. How does this system differ from portable wifi solutions? A. First of all, we offer the most

advanced content synchronisation system in the market. It has the capacity and autonomy to constantly deploy new product versions on a daily basis. Immfly also offers the best content in the market, from leading content providers such as 20th Century FOX, Euronews, BBC News, Financial Times, Bloomberg, National Geographic, among others. Immfly was also a European pioneer, when, together

with easyJet, it brought an internet giant, Rakuten, into the IFE world. At the same time, we are working with the best technology companies to ensure we offer the best wifi coverage inside the aircrafts.

Q. What hardware and software does it use, and how does it work?

A. Our technological breakthrough consists of a system that works through remote control, without human interaction. The system upgrades autonomously and downloads content and software every time the aircraft lands. We work with an open software platform, that has the capacity to work with different hardware, applications, satellite or other connectivity, and the choice depends exclusively on the various marketing needs. Additionally, there is an alert and report system throughout the entire value chain, so that the entire flow is monitored, and when an error or incident happens it is quickly solved. Immfly is already working with both fixed and portable plugged hardware providers, and together we are offering the best and most suitable solution to each specific airline. Working without exclusivity, Immfly’s onboard digital platform is flexible and is able to benefit from the added value that each hardware type brings to the market. Q. Which airlines use the system? A. To date, Iberia Express, XL Airways,

Jetlease, easyJet, Volotea and Air Nostrum all have the system, with two other

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airlines due to enter into operations with the system in the first part of this year.

Q. What are the benefits to the airline of using this solution?

A. Our onboard digital platform offers a number of tools and services that allow airlines to generate new ancillary revenue opportunities and to know their customers better through data acquisition, e-commerce services, performance and brand marketing. We support airlines by providing the tools and functionalities that will engage their passengers through the entertainment capabilities, flight maps, onboard shopping, concierge services or NPS (Net Promoter Scores). Q. What new types of content can we expect in the near future?

A. Currently, the onboard digital platform offers content such as music, TV shows, movies, games, a kids’ channel, and a 3D interactive map with information in real time (outside temperature, time on arrival, altitude etc.). The Immfly digital platform also offers a wide range of innovative services such as ‘Your Destination’, where the passenger can read about where they are going and plan their trip while flying. Already you can book and buy activities at the destination while in the sky, such as a museum entrance ticket or a bus trip. Novelties such as events performed onboard, concerts, conferences, wine and product tasting, prize awards and brand promotions are some of the other endless possibilities. In this way, Immfly is opening the door for brands to advertise at 30,000 feet. We have created a new marketplace, a ‘showroom’ in the air. Now, the sky’s the limit for advertising possibilities, since it is the perfect opportunity for brands to communicate and reach a significant audience in an absolutely captive environment. immfly.com •

PROFILE:

Jimmy von-Korff Martinez is an alumnus of the ESADE Business School. After working in investment banking and the advertising industry, he co-founded Immfly in 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

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20 / HOW TO...

onboard entertainment & connectivity

How to...

...get the wifi you pay for Ever been in a connected plane with no wifi? P3 can test the coverage throughout your aircraft to help check your connectivity suppliers' claims. Richard Williams discovers more Analyse and test German company P3 aero systems analyses, simulates, tests, optimises, and certifies wireless systems onboard planes, trains and ships. It does this by effectively making visible the invisible wireless world. Working with airlines and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), it takes the risk out of huge connectivity investments by ensuring reliability and optimising the passenger experience. deal with Dense data The aircraft cabin is extremely densely populated by wireless data transmissions, be it wifi, Bluetooth, NFC or emerging technologies such as 60 GHz or WAIC. People sit very tightly packed, and come onboard with at least one multifunctional device, while the Internet of Things (IoT) is also coming to aircraft operations in both the cabins, flight deck and engines. Adding connectivity and increasing data capacity to the aircraft (using satellite and air-to-ground networks) brings big benefits to the passenger experience but doesn't guarantee good service in every seat. P3 initiatives help ensure onboard systems do not let the passenger down over the last few feet of cabin space. run simulations P3 simulates the performance of each planned system, taking into account that each aircraft type and airline installation is different. There are different class configurations, seats and overhead bins. Galleys, lavatories, and lounges are in different locations, and even the materials used in the cabin vary. All of these have an influence on the signal distribution,

reflection, absorption, interference, signal strength and ultimately data throughput levels. Apart from simulations, P3 also has an automated test capability and the capacity to verify wireless multi-passenger configurations. It can do this either in geometrically cloned test labs or onboard real aircraft.

Fact file Wireless data includes wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, plus emerging technologies. P3 Group was founded in 1996 and is based in Aachen, in Germany.

German company P3 aero systems offers a range of development and advisory services for connectivity and multi-wireless environments for aircraft, trains, cars, and ships.

keep planning ahead Bernd Knobe, managing director of P3 aero systems, goes by the industry nickname of ‘Lord of the Pings’. He says: “The quality levels of wireless services have typically been managed for the total cabin rather than per device. Passenger demand has increased exponentially, and there are new challenges such as the everproliferating number of Bluetooth devices, which have their own impact on wifi. All this means that airlines need to be well prepared for the next wave of emerging wireless applications, streaming services and aircraft IoT solutions.” p3-group.com •

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REAL-TIME BIDIRECTIONAL CONNECTIVITY. THAT’S A ROUND TRIP TICKET TO HAPPINESS. People in the air want the same Wi-Fi experience they have on the ground. Finally, they can have it. With our proprietary beamforming technology, you can offer high-speed, high-capacity throughput to and from the plane with low latency. This changes everything.

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10-12 APRIL 2018

THE DESTINATION FOR THE AIRCRAFT INTERIORS INDUSTRY. Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 10 - 12 April 2018, Hamburg Messe, Germany Aircraft Interiors Expo is the world’s market leader event dedicated to airlines and the supply chain to source the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment, connectivity and passenger comfort industries. Register today www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

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Co-located with:

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Organised by:

In co-operation with:

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Supported by:

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ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

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Portable solutions for IFE Richard Williams talks to Catherine Brown at Bluebox Aviation Systems about technology designed to make wireless IFE easy and cost effective

Ancilliary revenue The other advantage of portable systems, apart from being cost-effective and easier to deploy, is that they offer an opportunity to generate ancillary revenue. Airlines can do this by renting devices to passengers,

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cottish company Bluebox Aviation Systems is a major player in tablet-based IFE, deploying over 20,000 devices across over 30 airlines around the globe. Recently, its portable wireless IFE solution Bluebox Wow has won clients such as Cyprus-based Cobalt Air, Solaseed Air in Japan and Air Inuit. Catherine Brown, head of marketing, says: “Portability has always been at the core of what we do. It reduces the cost of IFE (in terms of capital, operations, and maintenance) which makes it appealing to airlines for whom the economics of installing seatback or even fitted wifi systems didn’t work previously. As a result we get considerable interest from regional and low-cost carriers, and also from traditional full service and long haul carriers for aircraft that have niche requirements.”

customers. Ever had the screen at your selling access to the content on personal seat not work? In that situation, a cabin devices, advertising/sponsorships on the crew member offering you a tablet with platform, and onboard shopping, whether the same content can help convert what that be catering, duty-free or destinationwould otherwise be a negative passenger based bookings. experience into a positive one. “Just as we work with the airlines “In a way, that service to design their IFE recovery proposition graphical user interfaces has parallels with (GUIs), and content service providers (CSPs) Portability reduces what we’ve done on accessibility with our for the actual content the cost of IFE, Bluebox aIFE platform integration, we work makes it easier to announced late with other software deploy and can last year with Virgin vendors to integrate generate ancillary Atlantic. In the case of advertising, point revenue a passenger with sight of sale (POS) loss arriving onboard, and payment a Bluebox aIFE device can be offered processing elements into the so that passenger can have the same system,” says Brown. access to the IFE content as their travel Accessibility companions. Offering such passengers Portables also help airlines with this independence and control is as existing seatback systems deliver important as the entertainment itself.” blueboxaviation.com • on their service promise to onboardhospitality.com

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24 / CONTENT CHOICES

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Fresh content There is so much more to onboard systems than music and movies. Benjamin Coren explores some of the latest content developments to be found onboard

INSIDER TIPS

Global content agency Spafax has introduced a first-of-its-kind business travel TV show in partnership with Business Traveller. The programme is designed to reach the travelling consumer at multiple touchpoints with monthly episodes featuring insider travel tips and expertise. The show is being syndicated for inflight entertainment, online and for sharing via partners. Travellers will be able to watch it on their devices inflight. spafax.com

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BoardConnect, from Lufthansa Systems, is constantly evolving its content options. The mCabin/CityGuides (for crew) and GoGobot (for passengers) now provide destination specific information and recommendations based on personal preferences, and come supported by destination specific videos. Partnering with Epteca, the system also offers eCommerce micro shop solutions, making recommendations with options to book hotels, tourist attractions and tickets before the trip or inflight. Virgin Australia is among carriers using the system. lhsystems.com

SkyLights is evolving the onboard movie offer with a catalogue of full feature films in 3D and 2D, displayed on a headset that gives a display equivalent to a full HD IMAX-sized cinema screen. The company's content team has partnered with mk2 VR, National Geographic and the BBC to diversify the offer and is also currently developing VR games tailored for inflight use. Content service provider, Inflight Dublin recently announced a collaboration to deliver IFE via Skylights headsets. skylights.aero

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CONTENT CHOICES / 25

wellBeiNG

Hawaiian Airlines passengers on transpacific flights are the latest to be offered health and wellness videos as part of their inflight entertainment. The Ola Pono (Live Well) series includes three features: Air, Sea and Land, each of which provides viewers with inflight exercises. Viewers can also learn about Hawaiian foods and their nutritional value and health benefits. hawaiianairlines.com

MoNetisiNG MeNUs

XPlore by PXCom, used by Air France, Delta and Eurowings among others, offers interactive destination guides and also integrated online content which airline food and beverage partners can use to promote their brands and products onboard. These can include menu descriptions and dietary details as well as a 'click and home delivery' option – perhaps for a wine or champagne the passenger enjoyed inflight. pxcom.aero

VirtUal Views

Flightpath 3D is working to enhance the onboard experience with interactive destination and flight tracking maps. Newest developments include FlightPath 360 which provides aerial 360-degree views of the destinations the passenger is flying over, with information; and Live Pilot which gives passengers a live cockpit view including all flight data and instruments. A kids map features game-like elements with moving 3D animals to aid exploration of wildlife worldwide. flightpath3D.com

More FroM MaPs

AirGuide Travel Media Network, featured by Cathay Pacific, ElAl and Eurostar among others, includes airport and city guides with interactive maps content. These show destination specific information, tours and restaurants which pop up within the map to help passengers familiarise themselves with the city they are visiting, investigate points of interest and book tours or restaurants. airguideonline.com

aDVertisiNG iNNoVatioNs

Inflight Media Digital claims to be taking onboard advertising to a new level with the launch of its AirSAS Ad Server. This pairs with onboard wifi boxes onboard to allow highly selective audience and route specific targeting. Advertisers can communicate through web links and mobile apps via the passengers' personal devices, targeting a relevant offer to a relevant audience when they are most likely to be receptive and buy. They can also run duty free product campaigns with an ordering and payment process during the flight. imm-international.com

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26 / CASE STUDY

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Infotainment on track

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The Bernina Express is the world's first mountain train to offer an infotainment platform through passenger devices – using Passengera. Richard Williams discovers more

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hen Passengera installed its wifi system onboard the famous mountain Bernina Express trains, operated by the Rhaetian Railway (RhB), there were certainly challenges to overcome. First there had to be a solution that was independent in each coach. It also had to overcome weak GPS and GSM signals in the mountains; needed to support up to seven languages and cope with a wide range of operating temperatures. So Passengera installed a server in every coach. This device provides an all-in-one service including wifi for passengers, internet connectivity over GSM for remote management and content updates with integrated GPS, and the hosting for a web-

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based Infotainment platform. Passengers use their own devices, connecting via the wifi, with nothing to install. They can find a map with the live GPS location of the train, route and schedule information, points of interest along the route, pop-up notifications based on the train's position, movies and documentaries about Bernina Express, audio guides and shop, all with multilingual support. All trains are centrally managed from the Passengera Cloud, so the marketing team can remotely update content data without visiting the trains. The operational team can monitor fleet status, performance, and detailed statistics about connectivity, and management and marketing teams can monitor user trends and behaviour with

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demographic data, to see what interests passengers the most. Besides RhB trains, Passengera has been implemented into one of the client's buses, using onboard fixed screens. RhB can manage the infotainment on both the trains and buses at the same time. The system has proved popular with passengers and there are plans to install it on more trains. Michael Kistler, head of marketing communications and e-business at RhB, says: “Before deploying Passengera, we knew little about our passengers. Now we know their interests and demographic data, which we can use to better target new promotions." The project was recently Highly Commended at the SmartRail Europe Innovation Awards. passengera.com •

THE RHAETIAN RAILWAYS (RHB) TECHNOLOGY BRIEF RhB wanted to deliver a new experience to passengers and to find out more about their demographic data for remarketing purposes. It wanted to give them the chance to use their personal devices to access travel related information about their

journey and interactive guides. Passengera offered the operator a new communication channel too, with which it could inform passengers about news and related services, and a new business channel to promote additional services from the region to support the growth of tourism.

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Talking chatbots Chatbots claim to be able to change the way your passengers interact with your business. Benjamin Coren cuts through the jargon to find out how

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rtificial intelligence, chatbots and cognitive computing are buzz words that fly around the debate on future customer experiences, but what exactly are they and what can they do? A bot is a small piece of software with pre-programmed interactions that allow a user to communicate with them in a natural manner. They can be used via software like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat but perhaps most excitingly, they have the ability to learn from every individual interaction with a human, making them increasingly useful. Experts at tech travel giant Amadeus say: “Chatbots might finally be the way to provide the long sought-after hassle-free travel experience for travellers. By mixing personal travel data and destination content they could become the perfect travel companion, easily providing relevant and contextualised information to its user.”

Bots for business But according to a recent report on the topic by the IBM Institute for Business Value, few travel executives really

understand how cognitive computing can recommendations based on the traveller’s change their industry and even the most location and preferences. advanced companies are only making Over time they are able to anticipate initial forays into chatbots and robots. needs and notify users of information The report found that 52% of ahead of time, warning of flight delays travel companies believe operational or offering hotel check-out reminders improvements are the for example. It is best target for their these types of highly cognitive investments. contextualised The potential for interactions that A travel bot should are most likely to chatbots as travel anticipate needs and encourage travellers to companions is seen as notify users when a use chatbot services. still only in its infancy. flight is delayed But by feeding Some airlines have chatbots with traveller begun experimenting data, a bot can relieve with bots as a way to friction-points throughout a traveller's improve customer service. Early adopters journey, retrieving information when include AeroMexico, Finnair, Singapore it matters and providing useful Airlines, Icelandair, Lufthansa and KLM to support en route. Pre-travel they name a few. According to SITA’s 2017 Air can provide flight times, boarding Transport IT Trends Insights, around 14% gate and terminal information; en of airlines now use AI-powered chatbots, route they can answer a wide range of but wise up to what they can do as that is traveller queries and provide personalised expected to rise to 68% by 2020. • onboardhospitality.com

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity April 2018  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Trends • News • New Tech Show • Rail Apps • Monetis...

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity April 2018  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Trends • News • New Tech Show • Rail Apps • Monetis...