London, United Kingdom | November 27, 2014– Bluebox Avionics is delighted to announce today its provision of the Bluebox Ai application to Dragonair, the Hong Kong-based airline, for deployment with its new Airbus A320 wireless inflight entertainment streaming system.

Through Ai-enabled iPads the airline’s Business Class passengers, when connected to the in-cabin wireless IFE system, can enjoy both pre-loaded premium movies and access to cabin-streamed content.

“Out of the 25 airlines now employing Bluebox, Dragonair is the first customer to adopt our application specifically to integrate with in-cabin wireless IFE”, notes Bluebox spokesman Kevin Birchmore. “We like to take that as a vote of confidence in our recent work around hybrid IFE, from a highly respected and, quite rightly, a highly demanding new client.”

Bluebox Hybrid empowers airlines to offer Early Window Content (pre-DVD and retail-release movies) and access to streamed IFE in one integrated proposition. The secure app for iPad Air and iPad mini can interface with a Hollywood-approved wireless streaming solution to complete a premium IFE platform as content-rich as any fitted system. It is approved by major studios to host EWC and is the market leader in tablet IFE – now with over 14,000 units flying.

Bluebox Hybrid users enjoy the same superior audio, retina display screens and iOS games that the iPad delivers on the ground, and with closed-caption capability as standard.

  • Tablet Device Revolutionizes Inflight Crewmembers’ Role and Their Ability to Offer Even More Personalized Customer Service
  • All Inflight Crewmembers Expected to Have a Personal Device by April 2015

New York | August 14, 2014– JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), New York’s Hometown Airline™ announces today that it will provide each inflight crewmember with an iPad mini for use as a point of sale and document management device. Crewmembers who will be working Mint flights, JetBlue’s new premium service offering between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) and soon San Francisco (SFO), will be among the first to use this new technology onboard, and by April 2015, every inflight crewmember will have a device for onboard use.

In addition to deploying tablets, the airline is also debuting the In-Flight Service Assistant (IfSA), a purpose-built application and crew portal through which crewmembers can access key business applications to help facilitate the delivery of exceptional customer service and enhance operational efficiency while onboard. JetBlue also plans on releasing other core business applications that will provide Crewmembers with easy access to any forms, manuals and other resources that will streamline its operation and enhance the airline’s award winning service.

“We’ve recently made a number of exciting and innovative onboard enhancements to enrich the customer experience, such as expanding inflight entertainment, introducing Fly-Fitm and being the first US carrier to allow customers to use portable electronic devices gate-to-gate,” said Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, JetBlue Airways. “It’s clear the connected cabin is the next big thing, and with the introduction of iPad minis, our inflight crewmembers will be able to know more about our customers onboard and will have a better sense of real time opportunities and challenges on the ground as we look for ways to enhance our customers’ experience with that information. With this new tool, the possibilities are endless.”

Currently, JetBlue’s inflight crewmembers can use the IfSA app on their iPads to access an electronic manifest that not only shows if there are customers with special needs onboard, but also identifies TrueBlue and Mosaic customers. The iPads also assist crewmembers in completing onboard purchases as a point of sale device and contains translation technology that can translate questions, comments or concerns from customers in any language.
“Our inflight crewmembers already deliver award-winning customer service. This tablet solution will allow them to deliver an even better JetBlue experience, ultimately enhancing convenience and efficiency for customers,” said Blair Koch, Vice President Commercial and Shared Development Services, JetBlue Airways. “I am honored to lead the team responsible for refreshing the JetBlue Experience.”

By December 2015, not only will inflight crewmembers be able to access their schedules, review their hotel and transportation information and acknowledge changes, but the airline can potentially provide them with limited access to customers’ JetBlue flight and onboard purchase history in an effort to personalize the onboard experience for better customer relationship management.

“We are very excited to provide our inflight crewmembers with the enhanced tools that they will need to continue delivering the award-winning JetBlue Experience,” said Rachel McCarthy, Vice President Inflight Experience, JetBlue Airways. “By giving our crewmembers tablets to use onboard, we can increase our product offerings and marketing capabilities. My hope is that our inflight crewmembers will also have their flight attendant manuals on the tablet which will allow them to have everything in one place. Additionally, with this new device, our inflight crewmembers could potentially video conference for medical emergencies or technical difficulties and become even more effective in their roles as safety professionals.”
Since the successful implementation of iPads for JetBlue’s pilots as electronic flight bags in November 2013, the iPad mini was subsequently deployed for the inflight crew. Now, both groups can conveniently work together in a connected environment and provide real-time responses to any number of situations that may arise. Additionally, inflight crewmembers will have the ability to preempt or proactively address service recovery issues while onboard.
JetBlue is progressively rolling out Fly-Fi satellite broadband internet service across its fleet. As of today, 61 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft were outfitted with this lightning fast service.

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 86 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 850 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, an overnight stay is never required and the first checked bag is free (subject to weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

– Leading in-flight entertainment provider believes Apple’s new mini tablet will be a hit with airline passengers.

Knutsford, Cheshire, UK | December 12, 2012– IFE Services, one of the world’s leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) providers, announced today that it can provide a variety of content that can be exhibited on the iPad Mini for airline passengers to enjoy.

Released in November 2012, the iPad Mini is ideal as a portable in-flight entertainment device, weighing in at just 308 grams and featuring a 7.9 inch screen and storage capacity up to 64 Gb. It can be loaded with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, games, e-magazines and apps and be rented out to passengers during their flight or offered complimentary depending on the airline’s business model.

IFE Services, which currently provides in-flight entertainment to over 50 airlines with a combination of embedded and portable systems, has signed content agreements for the larger iPad tablet with 8 airlines to date making it the market leader in this space.

“We believe that the iPad Mini is a brilliant portable IFE device for airline passengers to enjoy,” said Andy McEwan, CEO of IFE Services. “It’s light, has a long battery life and can be loaded with a wide array of fantastic in-flight entertainment content. We’re confident it will be a huge hit with airlines and their customers.”

With this week’s announcement of the iPad Mini, we thought it appropriate to look into the relative value of using an inflight mini tablet (7 inches, or so) for one’s own personal IFE device. Aside from the size advantage in portability, it has just enough size benefit over the iPhone for reading, game playing, movies, and any other visual oriented task. We predict that these tablets in the respective 7″ size domain will eventually rule the personal IFE device space. Why? Ask yourself, what are the iPad sized tablets disadvantages? Relative portability, viewing quality/resolution, and battery performance. No wonder laptops are getting a run for their money as portable units flaunt dual and quad core processors and 10 hour battery life. Further, the smaller tablet field is just developing and it looks like this market segment is the next big thing. Personal IFE usage could be one reason travelers will respond to them.

From a total tablet perspective, Apple holds 50% of the sales (and dropping), which the iPad Mini is expected to bolster. The first three days of sales appear to prove this growth expectation with 3 million unit sold. While the total tablet market quarterly sales rise is roughly 7%. In the non-Apple ecosphere, the Google Nexus 7 and the Nook/Kindle/Galaxy devices make up the other 50% of sales and they will be growing in numbers because of the smaller size, performance… and price point in some cases.

As noted above, price and performance will wring out sales winners and losers this forthcoming year. While the tablet is mostly a visual experience, audio is not to be forgotten and that is where a good audio accessory is also a necessary add on. The real deal is a good pair of noise canceling headphones with a built-in microphone (headset) if you get telephony on your device. We have reviewed the Bose MIEi2 Mobile headset for a reason, they perform great and they have the phone/tablet audio interface (level/microphone) built into the cord.

No doubt, size, price and performance will drive this market and in the case of IFE, these are similar influences. Access to you personal entertainment is within easy reach. This may be a bit more difficult if your are trying to round-up a 10″ tablet in a protective carrying case. Let’s face it, the iPad is a two handed tool; whereas, a 7″ tablet is potentially a one-hander… almost like your phone. Unlike the larger tablets, it stays in your pocket for the duration of the trip. For you book readers, since text size is expandable, a lighter (smaller) device may aid in one handed reading. You might just have to turn the page a bit more often.

We asked a number of travelers about the future of the 7″ tablet and we got the same responses from almost all of them in the same order: size for portability, screen quality (as a result of reduced size), available “apps”, price and availability were the most common responses. We think the size will be the sought benchmark for travelers. Period. The original 10″ iPad has become the portable laptop for many, while the phone has become the portable personal assistant. The 7″ tablet will become the portable traveling entertainment device. From another perspective, almost all business travelers take a laptop and a phone with them on a business trip. If a laptop and a phone are a given, then why wouldn’t a reduced size and weight tablet be a plus? Not withstanding, the laptop and the mini tablet could be packed together. No doubt, some smart manufacturer will also provide one power source to carry as well!

Another possible traveling advantage of a 7″ tablet has to do with the issue of denied overhead baggage storage. While most tablets are small enough, there is nothing like being able to slide your portable IFE in your suit or jacket pocket instead of fumbling around with repacking your bag on the gangway. While electronic boarding passes (EBP) are a long way from being the default airline ticket, the phone/tablet storage device seems like a no-brainer. With a device that has cell service instead of only Wi-Fi, the phone probably has an edge (no pun intended). However, because of problems in foreign countries, lack of Wi-Fi (or cell) service, and a myriad of technical issues, the advantage of either device may be void.

Here are a number of links to explore the tablet world and decide for yourself:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/05/engadgets-tablet-buyers-guide-fall-2012/#continued

http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/05/idc-tablet-shipments-Q3-2012/

http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/05/apple-three-million-ipad-sold-in-three-days/

iPad mini Announced: Here’s Everything You Need To Know | Redmond Pie

Apple Sets New Launch-Weekend Record With iPad Mini – Forbes

Why Apple Really Built the iPad Mini – TheStreet
====================================================================================
This week’s “IFEC BUZZ” quote comes from John Courtright. John is VP-Programs for SIE, a systems integration & structures engineering firm specializing in installation of connectivity systems on commercial, VIP, and Mil/Gov aircraft…among other services. We asked John this week for a quote because he has helped put SIE on the IFE map (Kinda rhymes, doesn’t it?).