This week the IFExpress Hot Topic is one of our mixed bag of stories we found while casting about the IFEC industry and we thought we would start of with a bit of IFExpress news. Next week, our Hot Topic will cover one of most important products to ever grace the passenger cabin experience – the Boeing Sky Interior. We trolled the world of aviation, interviewed experts and talked to suppliers to get the big picture for our readers, and we have to confess, it was not easy. We will tell you why next week but the “look and feel” of the BSI is one of the most important airplane design developments to come along in recent years. When was the last time you sat for a few hours in your assigned airline seat and “felt” good about the experience? Well, that’s what the latest trend in flying is all about; having passengers “feel” good about the experience. Here is what one Boeing executive said about the concept: Even though the 787 is not a jumbo-it will carry about two hundred fifty passengers, three hundred fewer than the A380-it appears to have the spatial qualities of one. The door opens onto a vaulted lobby rather than a cramped vestibule. And there is a surprising amount of light, thanks to the single most revolutionary feature of the 787: its huge windows. Wider and notably taller-extending from the armrest to above the top of the seat-they instantly erase that sense of walking into a claustrophobic tube. Moreover, they invite us to revisit the idea of flying as an ever-changing spectacle of earth and sky-like having an IMAX of one’s own.” We plan on covering what Boeing studied how they went about redesigning their cabins to change how you feel on their aircraft. Here is a hint… the lighting says it all! Stay Tuned on this one.

Infographics deliver a lot of information in a small space and they are eye-catching. The first ones we saw some 10 years ago were at Boeing and IFExpress just found their newest one – The Commercial Aviation Forecast 2013 – 2032. The first IFEC info graphics we saw were at the OnAir booth at AIX and you can see more here: Global Spending On Air Travel in 2011 [INFOGRAPHIC]. You can build your own with a free computer app from – lets see what your company can do?

We asked a long-time DRM expert on the APEX Technology Committee,
responsible for drafting many of the industry’s digital delivery standards including content security, assures us that there are no DRM solutions acceptable to the preponderance of Hollywood studios that do not require an app or plug-in to implement. Rumors that recent Hollywood movies might be provided in IFE without DRM or without app-based DRM are incorrect, he tells us.”

We hear that Eddie Hseih is going to be the new Mr. Panasonic in China, or is that Mr. China in Panasonic?

Afterthought: Here in the Northwestern US, images of salmon are quite commonplace; however, many of our readers might not have the opportunity to fly in one like we can here.


Note: If you think this has nothing to do with IFE, you are wrong. Alaska just implemented a fleet wide installation of inseat power as we noted last week. We got the image in late!

– APEX Technology Committee to Discuss ‘Geo-Entertainment’, Connectivity and Other Topics at Royal Geographical Society’s Historic Lowther Lodge and Inmarsat’s Conference Center

New York, NY | February 26, 2013– Even at 35,000 feet above sea level – a feat on its own – airline passengers are fascinated by what’s below them. They gladly tune in to a seatback screen for hours on end to track what they are flying over and learn about what’s happened there in the past. Airlines are responding by providing more products and services that spout regional fun facts along any given flight path, with information related to geography, history and more. It’s called geo-entertainment.

Keeping ahead of a trend that is increasingly captivating the flying public, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) will host an Educational Event devoted to this topic, as well as travel applications, during the first day of its educational event next month in London. The event, sponsored by APEX member companies Inmarsat, Panasonic and the Royal Geographical Society, will be 26 through 27 March.

Registration for the event is now open and can be accessed here.

APEX is the leading international association for sharing industry knowledge related to the airline passenger experience and hosts regular Educational Events across the globe. These events provide airlines and vendors with the opportunity to network, do business and learn more about the latest trends in the passenger experience.

“As an association of companies devoted to continuously improving the passenger experience, education and networking events are critical to helping members make timely and informed decisions about inflight entertainment and many other services,” said Lauren Beneri, director of programs and services for APEX. “Geo-entertainment presents us with so many opportunities for learning and improving the passenger experience. And it’s only fitting that this event be hosted at such a globally recognized geographical institution. This event is sure to be hugely beneficial for all who attend.”

The first day of sessions, 26 March, will be hosted by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) at the Lowther Lodge in South Kensington and will cover geo-entertainment content and applications that relate to every phase of the journey. Day Two of the event, 27 March, will explore topics including streaming, wireless communications and use of consumer devices inflight. Attendees will also be able to see firsthand the technologies at Inmarsat that help facilitate such connectivity.

Attendance is free for APEX airline members. APEX vendor members may purchase a one-day pass for $100 or a two-day pass for $175. For non-members, the cost is $200 and $275, respectively. More information about the event can be found here.

APEX & Aircraft Interiors, 12 -14 September, 2011 – Seattle, WA, USA

APEX – Paid

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We have been writing about the APEX/Aircraft Interiors Conference and Exposition for over 20 years now (formerly WAEA) and we still find it to be the best source of the latest happenings in IFE. Period. Our readers know that the conference floor is chock full of players, deployers, airlines, inventors, dreamers, billion dollar suppliers, installers, winners, losers, and yes, even crazies. But it is still the best IFE show in town and Seattle is hosting the event at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. We note that there is a new light rail link to downtown Seattle from Sea-Tac International Airport and the downtown terminus Westlake Station is approximately 5 blocks from the Center. If you need more data, Google Map “Washington state convention center”.

While the show floor is intensive, there is going to be a lot of “action” at the Monday Technology: Innovations & Update – Because words speak louder than future actions, here is what caught our collective eye:

“What do the MRO’s and installation integrators really wish the airlines and IFE suppliers would finally learn?”

“In the last 12 months ‘Ka-band’ has become the buzz word in satellite connectivity. Learn more about what Ka-band offers and how it compares to Ku-band and L-band technologies from player launching satellites and planning systems for the aviation marketplace. This stuff is rocket science.”

“Not only are IFE systems evolving, but so are the content management supply chains feeding them. Encoding is migrating to transcoding, and file-based workflow is the new supply chain paradigm. Post-production/integration roles are changing.”

“Early aspirations for wireless delivery in the cabin exceeded the capability of the technology. But now wireless is back… Lufthansa Systems is launching a new system that streams content to pax-owned devices and Go-Go is adding cached content to its connectivity offering. Meanwhile, Siemens Altran and Tune Box have systems on the drawing board. In addition, American Airlines has chosen the Samsung Galaxy tablet device, the first COTS portable in IFE to use Android OS – hear an update on the platform.”

The Monday program is looking very interesting and we encourage our readers to skip the Pike Place Market tour for the fireworks at the Convention Center, Level 6 – Rooms 611 – 612.

Aircraft Interiors – Free

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Some blurbs and bits of other interest…

If you think that the world of Mobile Connectivity is important but but feat that Microsoft and Google will dominate this environment like most other technology growth markets, think again. The “Hypernet” (Internet + cellular + Wi-Fi) is changing all that! Once Roger McNamee explains it, you will get the picture. Can IFE be a player too?

Many feel the travel experience begins at the airport, I f you do, check out Future Travel Experience Conference in Vancouver, Canada – Sept. 7 – 9, 2011.

(Editor’s Note: The IFExpress APEX/Aircraft Interiors Show Preview Edition Issue will be released on Monday morning September 12. – Here is an opportunity to get some free booth promotion, send IFExpress the following information: Company Name, Booth Number, Contact Name/e-mail, and a short summary of your product/service features – including any booth surprises that you want to headline. All entries must be received by Thursday September 10, 2011.)

The Airline Passenger Experience Association hosts Technology Committee (TC) meeting in Los Angeles, California, USA on 2-3 November 2010

(New York, NY) – Experts in inflight entertainment technologies will explore how content and hardware affects the passenger experience at the APEX Technology Committee Meeting on 2-3 November 2010. The meeting is being held at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Technology Committee (TC) will explore digital content issues on Day 1, including MPEG 4 Part 10, high definition (HD) inflight entertainment technology, digital advertising standards and watermarking standardization efforts.

Day 2 will focus on hardware, including seats and IFE, display technologies, iPads and streaming to PEDs.

“Our Technology Committee has once again put together a meeting that addresses new technologies and introduces the most up-to-date content for the airline industry,” said Patrick Brannelly, APEX president. “The future of inflight entertainment looks bright.”

As of 11 October, speakers from the following companies are confirmed: Airborne Interactive, Airbus, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Crest Digital, Imagik International Corporation, Inmarsat Ltd., Inflight Productions, Ltd, UK, Lightstream Communications, Lumexis, Microsoft, Smartjog, Tannis Electronics and SID, THX and Virgin America.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is a non-profit association representing the world’s leading airlines and vendors in this field. APEX sponsors a number of these free to attend Technology meetings each year to evaluate new technologies and create industry-wide quality and compatibility standards. Technical aspects of onboard equipment systems, connectivity and other industry developments are also explored.

The TC meeting is being sponsored by Airbus, Lumexis Corporation and Crest Digital, and is open to members and invited non-member guests free of charge. Registration is required.

Earlier this year, APEX launched the Passenger Choice Awards™, a newly created program voted on by the traveling public, and designed to recognize the airlines for their service, products and innovations. In addition, APEX also hands out the Avion Awards for Best Single Achievement in IFE and Best Achievement in Technology. For a list of the 2010 winners, please visit the APEX website.

WHAT: APEX Technology Committee Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday-Wednesday, 2-3 November 2010

WHERE: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
Los Angeles, California, USA

HOW: Register by October 27, 2010