Qantas Airlines to test iPad 2 as in-flight entertainment solution

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Australia's Qantas Airways will soon test Apple's iPad 2 as an in-flight entertainment system for travelers that offers streaming movies over Wi-Fi from a central server on the aircraft.



The pilot program, billed as a ?world first? by the airline, will take place over a six-week period from the end of October to early December, Australian Business Traveller reports. The trial run will be limited, however, to a single aircraft, a 254-seat Boeing 767-300.



All passengers boarding the aircraft will be given an iPad 2 for in-flight entertainment purposes. The device will sport a custom interface based on a special ?Q Streaming? application that will let users stream content from one of five wireless access points.



Each iPad will be ?locked down,? bypassing the usual home screen in a similar manner to the iPads used as product signs in Apple stores. According to Qantas Executive Manager for Customer Experience Alison Webster, the devices will boot into the Q Streaming app, ?so if anyone decides they want to ?borrow? one it won?t have any capability off the aircraft.?







Qantas may extend the iPad 2-based entertainment system to up to ten Boeing 767-300 aircrafts, and it may even consider deploying Apple's touchscreen tablets to its Airbus A330 fleet. For more details, see the original story at Australian Business Traveller.



While this trial program targets passengers, other airlines have started similar trials for aircraft crew, specifically for pilots. United Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines have already begun testing iPads pre-loaded with specific flight navigation applications to replace the existing paper documents and manuals currently present in the cockpits of their aircrafts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Australia's Qantas Airlines will soon test Apple's iPad 2 as an in-flight entertainment system for travelers that offers streaming movies over Wi-Fi from a central server on the aircraft.



    My hearing may not be a good as it once was although I haven't noticed any degradation, but I have a very difficult time hearing the iPad while in flight using the supplied ear buds. The engine noise is just too loud to hear quiet movies. I was recently trying to watch "No Country" and it was completely unwatchable. I suppose I need to invest in some Bose headphones. BTW I did buy that movie.
  • Reply 2 of 27
    It is QANTAS not QUANTA.



    For years we have been forced to turn off all electronic devices and now that it suits the airlines its ok. And it is wi-fi not cable - amazing.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bolts25 View Post


    It is QANTAS not QUANTA.



    For years we have been forced to turn off all electronic devices and now that it suits the airlines its ok. And it is wi-fi not cable - amazing.



    Uh, you've always been forced to turn off all devices that receive or transmit signals as a precaution to not interfere with the flight equipment while climbing or landing.



    Also, the last thing a flight attendant needs is someone texting while they are giving out directions during an emergency.



    I am certain the airline will have a proprietary system that is cleared by their engineers before deploying this system.



    But you can continue to gripe just so you can play Angry Birds?



    Grow up.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woodlink View Post


    I am certain the airline will have a proprietary system that is cleared by their engineers before deploying this system.



    I'm pretty certain the iPads won't be proprietary hardware so they'll use standard 802.11n. As I understand it it's the mobile radios that are the issue. That sound you get over a HiFi system that's too close to a mobile phone is what the pilots get in their headphones, loads of 'em.



    Hmmm, odd decision. Given the appalling quality of streaming on the current wired LINUX in flight systems (too many hangs) streaming I've Wi-Fi sounds like a bad idea. Especially with a device which has at least 16GB of local storage. Surely wireless sync makes more sense, even with a proprietary app.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bolts25 View Post


    It is QANTAS not QUANTA.



    For years we have been forced to turn off all electronic devices and now that it suits the airlines its ok. And it is wi-fi not cable - amazing.



    I'm wondering if the author hasn't seen this name in written form, or simply doesn't know that it's an acronym.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The company has looked into installing seats with in-built iPad brackets, should the program prove successful. Initially, the iPads will be found in the seat pocket while business class passengers will also take advantage of a stand for use on their meal tray.



    Other than advertising that they are providing their passengers with an iPad 2, if the iPad 2 is just going to be locked down to only stream movies, I'm unclear what the major advantage this provides over existing built-in seat touchscreen LCDs. Unless they consider giving passengers the option of holding the iPad for hours while watching a movie or having to worry about recharging it an advantage.
  • Reply 7 of 27
    260 iPads per aircraft is a decent amount of revenue. Imagine a whole fleet of airplanes all carrying iPads. That's one thing that Microsoft and partners have never managed to do. An iPad would be perfect for aircraft carrier and submarine personnel where space is at a premium. The uses for iPads seem to just grow and grow. I do remember the days when it was said by tech pundits that Apple would never sell three million iPads in a whole year. Wow! Apple must be selling at least three million iPads every month and it's only going to get better over the next couple of years.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    I'm unclear what the major advantage this provides over existing built-in seat touchscreen LCDs.



    I imagine that the main advangtage for an airline is in reduced costs through weight (fuel cost), maintenance and upgrade savings.



    Current IFE systems must bring a lot of complexity to the seat and cabin along with a reasonable amount of weight.



    If you can split the system away from the seat the cost of maintaining and upgrading seats must be lower allowing the airline to refresh more frequently or have designs that do not need to accomodate the wiring/controls etc. Maintaining the IFE at the user end when it breaks is just a new iPad rather than an engineer having to work in the plane or a seat be put out of use.



    There will be weight and complexity from the central server system but there is already some type of centralised distribution system so probably not net penalty here.



    Removing the control box from under a set will also increase leg room and cabin flexibility. A small benefit but with sites like seat guru flagging seats are bad due to the IFE control box it alleviates this.



    I guess someone has made the calculations and realised there could be significant financial benefits.



    Ultimately though it shows the benefit of rolling out a solution like the iPad vs current bespoke solutions. No doubt there are a whole host of the other applications where an embedded iPad could appear.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,339member
    This s a good idea an Australian airline. The iPad can flip over the picture when they fly over the equator and the planes are upside-down.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,339member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by squoze View Post


    I imagine that the main advangtage for an airline is in reduced costs through weight (fuel cost), maintenance and upgrade savings.



    Current IFE systems must bring a lot of complexity to the seat and cabin along with a reasonable amount of weight.



    If you can split the system away from the seat the cost of maintaining and upgrading seats must be lower allowing the airline to refresh more frequently or have designs that do not need to accomodate the wiring/controls etc. Maintaining the IFE at the user end when it breaks is just a new iPad rather than an engineer having to work in the plane or a seat be put out of use.



    There will be weight and complexity from the central server system but there is already some type of centralised distribution system so probably not net penalty here.



    Removing the control box from under a set will also increase leg room and cabin flexibility. A small benefit but with sites like seat guru flagging seats are bad due to the IFE control box it alleviates this.



    I guess someone has made the calculations and realised there could be significant financial benefits.



    Ultimately though it shows the benefit of rolling out a solution like the iPad vs current bespoke solutions. No doubt there are a whole host of the other applications where an embedded iPad could appear.



    All true not to mention the millions more things an iPad can do compared with a very limited monitor even if they had a touch interface.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I'm wondering if the author hasn't seen this name in written form, or simply doesn't know that it's an acronym.



    Not only that, but calling it "Qantas Airlines" annoys the hell out of me considering it's actually "Qantas Airways".



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qantas
  • Reply 12 of 27
    Forget about it. You're asking AI to behave like research-minded journalists who actually check their facts.



    Journalism died in the Nineties.



    Sorry about that.



  • Reply 13 of 27
    interesting... Boeing also announced that every new 787 is going to have Android based entertainment on every seat - looks like long trips are going to get much nicer



    http://www.techflash.com/seattle/201...reamliner.html
  • Reply 14 of 27
    That's just the excuse. The main reason they want you to turn off devices is so you are paying attention to them and any announcements because take off and landing is usually when anything going wrong turns into a disaster. Also why they turn off the lights for night takeoffs/landings, to preserve your night vision in case anything goes wrong.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    Forget about it. You're asking AI to behave like research-minded journalists who actually check their facts.



    Journalism died in the Nineties.



    Sorry about that.







    Fact checkers... Proof readers... Editors... bah humbug!
  • Reply 16 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by agramonte View Post


    interesting... Boeing also announced that every new 787 is going to have Android based entertainment on every seat - looks like long trips are going to get much nicer



    http://www.techflash.com/seattle/201...reamliner.html



    I have never used android, but I bet it is better than any in flight entertainment system currently out there. The best one I have seen is on Emirates and compared to iOS it is an absolute dog. But on long haul wrestling with it occupies your time....
  • Reply 17 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hopejr View Post


    Not only that, but calling it "Qantas Airlines" annoys the hell out of me considering it's actually "Qantas Airways".



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qantas



    Not only that.... ,not only that, but calling it "Qantas Airway" annoys the hell out of me considering it's actually "Qantas Airways Limited". ....sorry dude, long afternoon



    Actually I din't know that I always thought it was just the acronym (Queensland And Northern Territory Air (edit -Aerial apparently) Service).
  • Reply 18 of 27
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    The iPad is almost perfectly suited for an inflight entertainment system. The screen is too small for business or first class, but should be ok for economy. I think they should build them in to the seat, and have wired connectivity. As someone else mentioned, they will also need proper noise-cancelling headphones, not crappy earbuds.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    This s a good idea an Australian airline. The iPad can flip over the picture when they fly over the equator and the planes are upside-down.



    I hear the accelerometers cause the screens to auto-rotate the other way up there!
  • Reply 20 of 27
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bolts25 View Post


    For years we have been forced to turn off all electronic devices and now that it suits the airlines its ok. And it is wi-fi not cable - amazing.



    And you will STILL be forced to turn off all electronic devices for takeoff and landing. There's no evidence that the FAA will change that rule.



    Like it or not, the rule is the same as it has always been:

    - All electronic devices turned off for takeoff and landing

    - Only approved electronic devices can be used at cruise altitude

    - Cell phones must be in airplane mode if used at cruise altitude



    Use of iPads on airlines won't change that.
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