Lumexis, IFEC News and Other Stuff!

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Lumexis

“It’s been very busy lately,” noted Jon Norris, Lumexis VP, Sales & Marketing, “…because the Boeing 737NG, and the 737MAX have taken a lot of our recent attention!”  In case you didn’t know, the FTTS (fiber to the seat) system is a revolutionary high-bandwidth AVOD passenger entertainment, communication and retail platform having the lowest cost of ownership over the life of the system. FTTS is easily upgraded in capacity and functionality at unprecedentedly low cost to maintain ongoing ‘leading edge’ performance and is applicable to every aircraft type in an airline’s fleet. Last year, the Lumexis FTTS system received line-fit approval for Boeing single-aisle aircraft. Line-fit offerability from Boeing speaks for itself. The company is currently pursuing line-fit offerability at Airbus for their single-aisle aircraft as well. Perhaps the most important aspect of line-fit offerability is that airlines can order planes to be delivered with their choice of IFE, making the installation process a little bit faster. When asked about the benefits of linefit offerability Jon Norris said, “We have had a very positive response from airlines since Boeing line-fit offerability was announced which has led to a considerable number of invitations to bid on current and future 737 Next-Generation and MAX IFE RFPs.Achieving linefit on both the 737 NG and MAX is a significant step forward for Lumexis as it gives us access to a market of more than 500 new Boeing 737 aircraft a year at current production rates (with those build rates increasing year-on-year). In addition it reinforces our position as one of the major IFE system suppliers and increases our standing and credibility within the retrofit market as well as with other airframers. Linefit installations are very similar to retrofit installations. , e.g., the FTTS servers installed on the E8 rack in the electronics bay, 28 VDC power supply units installed in the sidewalls (each power supply drives 15 seat displays), fiber cables are run from the servers up to and behind the ceiling panels and then overhead along the cabin and dropped down to the seat groups. As per the retrofit installation FTTS VDUs are installed by the seat manufacturer and are supplied to Renton pre-installed in the seats.”  

FTTS uses IFE touch screen aesthetics and functionality with their Fast Adaptable Swipe and Touch (FAST) graphical user interface (GUI). The FAST GUI responds to tablet swipe gestures as well as soft-touch selection of all entertainment menu items providing an exciting and entertaining passenger experience.FAST provides an intuitive feature-rich user interface that makes significant use of images to ensure that passengers can quickly find the IFE content that they’re looking for. With FTTS’s massive 3 TB real-time server library airlines can offer several hundred, full-length, HD movies to every passenger accompanied by unlimited language, sub-titles and captions. FTTS provides exceptional flexibility and ease of GUI modification/customization. The system can feature local news, run e-reader applications, and has pinch and zoom capabilities.

Over the past 18 months Lumexis has also been addressing the need for an ultra-low cost IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. As a result, they launched iPAX in 2015“Lumexis has taken another industry-leading step forward with the launch of its unprecedented new iPAX™ in-flight entertainment (IFE) product – a wireless-streaming in-seat system at the ultra-low price of $1,495 and weight of only 8.9 ounces per seat.” And lets face it, delivering a wireless connectivity cloud solution to seatback IFE is a lot cheaper than running cable bundles of wires to each seat via routers and division multiplexers. We asked about the functionality of the system and Mr. Norris told IFExpress that iPAX is a wireless/seat-centric hybrid system blending local storage with wireless streaming to optimize available bandwidth and performance. The system even has built in capability to provide a passenger-to-crew ordering system. We also inquired about the wireless WAP efficiency and he told IFExpress that “between 40-50 passengers will be served by each WAP simultaneously which calls for approximately 3 to 4 per each single-aisle plane… obviously determined by the choice of WAP and type of content.” System price was another astounding feature of the iPAX seat display units and the inseat power (2.1A USB) is a Lumexis product that is available as an option.

Lumexis has made some adjustments since the launch of iPAX, e.g., the screen today is ultra HD and slightly larger than it’s predecessor. The iPAX inseat screen for viewing can have an optional 2.1A USB port and credit card swipe, all with standard GUI. The company clearly has the 12 thousand single-aisle retrofit aircraft market clearly in their sites with this product. Lumexis touts that iPAX is half the weight of a standard overhead system.

Currently, Lumexis is on its 4th generation of FTTS (the 3rd generation of which is flying on flydubai, Batik Air and Malindo Air (of the Lion Air Group) and Turkish Airlines. The 4th generation has exactly the same fit and form as its predecessor featuring either 10.1” or 12.1” screen (on single aisle aircraft) and additionally 15.4” and 23” screens for wide body aircraft, mobile processor (2.5 GHz quad-core processor), and uses Android Lollipop for the operating system. This generation of FTTS has increased processing power, offers multi-languages with subtitles, and the interface is absolutely instantaneous. “The beauty of Android is we can take any Android-based App and host it quickly on our system,” said Jon. “We believe this is the highest performance platform on the market today!” 

Lumexis is also offering a hybrid system. Airlines can offer FTTS inseat AVOD to their business/first class passengers and iPAX inseat AVOD content to their economy travelers. Lumexis foresees a large demand for this split offering, especially in the Asia-Pacific and China markets.

(We encourage our readers to check out the videos and accompanying data on the Lumexis site – PLWiseman/Publisher & Editor)


IFEC News:

American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL)  has selected ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, to outfit its new Boeing 737 MAX fleet with ViaSat’s in-flight internet service. The ViaSat in-flight internet service has been recognized with multiple industry awards for delivering the best performing, highest-quality and fastest in-flight internet experience. The service encourages higher passenger engagement per plane by offering an ‘at home’ internet experience when in-flight – with the ability to stream movies, videos, television and music, as well as surf the web, upload pictures to social media, email large files and more.  The new American planes will tap into the power of ViaSat’s advanced high capacity Ka-band satellite system, which will include ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms, and has more capacity in orbit than any other in-flight Wi-Fi provider. American will leverage ViaSat’s first two generation satellite platforms, which together provide more capacity than all of the commercial satellites over North America combined. When the first ViaSat-3 class satellite platform launches in 2019, it will more than double the capacity again. With its capacity-rich satellite platforms, ViaSat is able to deliver the fastest, highest quality in-flight internet service to each connected device on a plane.


Other:

  • We have been waiting for new BOSE wireless noise cancelling QuietComfort 35’s headphones and QuietControl QC 30 earbuds, and here they are – Bose’s Best Noise-Canceling Headphones Finally Go Wireless
  • Satellite broadband hardware and service provider ViaSat Inc. on May 24 said it would accelerate investment in its terabit-per-second-throughput ViaSat 3 satellite program and continue to invest in licenses for its airline-connectivity business. – See more
  • The folks at NOKIA are really on top of airport connectivity (even planes) and you might want to note how they see the value of LTE in airport communications (and possibly aircraft) future in the evolution to LTE.
  • SITAONAIR sent IFExpress an interesting infographic outlining “What Passengers Want Infligh”t – you can find it here
  • The following link is to US Underwriters Laboratories (UL) short outline for the future of there Internet of Things (IoT). While not data-rich, the seven-page outline gives the reader a quick and dirty view of the coming business and in their words, “a general introduction to the technologies and standards that are expected to support the continued widespread deployment of the IoT”. While aviation is largely not mentioned, transportation is – you be the judge. It is probably too early to talk of aviation impact but it will happen. Here is the link and here is a short example of the data inside: “Bluetooth and variants—The Bluetooth protocol (based on IEEE 802.15.1) also operates in LAN-based environments at distances typically up to 10 meters, although some Bluetooth-enabled devices will work at distances of up to 100 meters. Bluetooth’s principle advantages are its low rate of power consumption, the capacity to handle multiple devices simultaneously, and its ability to transmit wirelessly without visual line of sight contact. A Bluetooth variant, Bluetooth LE (also known as Bluetooth Smart) offers all of Bluetooth’s communications advantages at significantly reduced power consumption rates.”
  • Drones will be at airports, as we noted some months ago, however, the un wanted ones may face issues soon. US airports to put drone-disabling system to the test
  • We hesitate to title this read as the Bangalore Mirror did but five Georgia Tech students “have developed a system that helps long-haul passenger flights dispose of waste generated on board while simulating the functions of the human digestive system.”
  • “AIRBUS has unveiled 4-meter-long electric-powered airplane manufactured via 3D printing; aircraft is comprised of around 50 3D printed parts and two electric motors.” SpeedNews
  • Security Tips for International Travelers says it all – nine data travel tips! IT Security Tips for International Travel
  • Think you have been “pwned” (Look it up!)? This site is really useful and we found one site hacked with a password to be changed! – Have I been pwned? Check if your email has been compromised in a data breach
  • Staying up on cyber intelligence? There is an app for that – The Threat Brief on the App Store and in Android –  The Threat Brief – Android Apps on Google Play
  • Ever heard of Ian Poole? He is the editor of a terrific technical website called Radio-Electronics.com. If you like EE stuff. Here are a couple good articles he penned – LED Technology: What is a LED? | Light Emitting Diode | Technology Tutorial and Radio Signal Path Loss: Radio Signal Path Loss :: Radio-Electronics.Com All stuff many of our readers like.

Perhaps the best flying motto ever was recently spotted on an editor’s desk: “Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.”

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