Panasonic Avionics outlines innovations in touchless and less-touch solutions in IFE

    Panasonic Avionics, via its official blog, outlined (09-Feb-2021) the following trends and innovations seen during the coronavirus pandemic which are aimed at reducing inflight entertainment (IFE) screen touching:

    • ‘Active Surfaces’: Elimination of high touch buttons with controls integrated into seat and galley walls or panels via information displays. Crevices and gaps created by buttons are eliminated, meaning that active surfaces makes the cabin environment easier to clean and sanitise by cabin crew and passengers;
    • ‘App-Free IFE’: Some carriers are moving to allow passengers to stream inflight entertainment content directly to their personal electronic devices (PED) without first downloading an airline app. PED-based solutions are “essential” to airlines’ IFE strategies, allowing wireless streaming of copy-protected media directly to passengers’ PEDs without the need to download the airline IFE app;
    • Seat-to-crew communications: Introduction of socially distanced, less-touch communications between passengers and flight crews via passengers’ PEDs. A number of seat-to-crew communication solutions were fast-tracked due to the pandemic, and “the innovation looks to be at the start of an enduring trend”;
    • PEDs as IFE remotes: Allows passengers to control their IFE via their own devices, either by pairing PEDs to a seatback IFE screen or by using PEDs as IFE portals. Aside from doubling as remotes, PED-friendly companion apps that incorporate digital publications, IFE content, and even wellness trackers are also expected to be popular with passengers. [more – original PR]
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