Part 2 – APEX Summary

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Firstly, thank you vendors for your valuable time at the show. As we noted last week, because of space limitations we can only summarize; however, IFExpress plans to devote complete Hot Topic subjects on some of the big deals in the upcoming months. We also note that IFExpress planned to dedicated two issues for APEX summaries. Wrong! We now need three and the third is to come next week.

APEX reports 2300 delegates and 73 airlines in attendance while most visitors enjoyed good, but unusual, Seattle weather. We again note that many show images are available by clicking the show image in this newsletter (to the right) and on the IFExpress/AIRFAX.com website.

Here we go:

Once again Geoff Underwood and his IFPL team knocked our collective socks off with 3 prototypes for new products: a near field communication (NFC) initiative (and eventual product) that permits chip-powered credit card sales (PIN enabled) via a swipe and a keypad. He demonstrated an ingenious Self Testing Audio Jack with built-in audio test via small LED – simply send out the correct tone and the light gives a go/no-go visual indication (BTW, no seat power required and the jack is no bigger that a standard jack). Hey, one person can check out a plane’s worth of audio with a walk down the aisle! Lastly, we should mention their 3 part breakaway audio jack. That’s right, 3 parts!Lower cost and no broken audio plugs – patent in works.

PlaneBill‘s Massimo DeSanctis, the App man has 18 apps now, one each for Apple iOS, Android, and Windows 7. We hear he is working on apps for WebOS and Blackberry as well. Check out the link for the list or www.planebill.com. Why not have him build or customize one for you!

Goodrich‘s Al McGowan told IFExpress they are planning bigger IFE packages for their customers, mostly with a retrofit focus. Interestingly, we expect new products as they cross pollinate with their Military technologies and other business elements. And, don’t forget the GA market as Goodrich has purchased Audio International.

digEcor continues to promote their L7 portable and are looking toward more solid state memory for increased functionality. Two bits of info: 1. Alaska does NOT report lower uptakes rates with Gogo onboard, and 2. We can’t tell you about their long term initiatives but one looks very cool. Adam Williams sent us his Tweet analysis of the APEX event and we think you Social Marketing followers will appreciate the results. Adam (and others) are on the leading edge of the next marketing revolution.

And speaking of Gogo (Shouldn’t that be Go-Go?), we spoke with Fran Phillips, Mary Rogozinski, and Steve Nolan who note that they see Ka as their potential answer to future satcom-based streaming entertainment. Further, their ATG4 upgrade will provide enough interim growth bandwidth with A/C antenna changes and small ground station mods. But what really caught our fancy was a very passenger friendly new feature called “Resumption of Play”. This is great new attribute that allows Gogo users to see the portion of the paid entertainment they missed because of, for example, landing. Use a code, plug it into their website and voila, you have not missed that great part in “When Harry Met Sally”! Don’t remember? – YouTube it!

The Astronics folks now have the USB inset power product in production and deliveries and installations are happening as we write. We should probably note another Astronics accomplishment – Teatro ZinZanni. We don’t normally mention vendor events but this one was a deal breaker for us. Described as “Love, Chaos, and Dinner”, this Seattle dinner theatre was the setting for the Astronics party. The venue’s website notes a description for the show there as “Kit Kat Klub on acid”, however, that is mild for the madness that ensued – we think they served dinner too but we don’t remember? Singers, musicians, transvestites, tumblers, acrobats, and who knows what else, the place (and event) was a hoot. We have saved the best for last but you will have to check out the Industry Good Sport of the Year via this linkā€¦and we ain’t kidding! Nice job everybody.

Footnotes:
Rumor has it that the reason Inflight Canada missed the show is because they are finalizing a big deal new product – Stay Tuned.

Last week we forgot to mention that Thales nice guy Dan Reed has retired (or should we say “is” retiring), however, we understand he will work on till the end of the year – dan.reed@us.thalesgroup.com

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