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 link…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

Each year, for the last umpteen years, IFExpress has delivered readers a show preview based on a published invitation to all. This year is no different and we urge all attendees to be sure to visit their booth and tell them IFExpress sent you!

Company: Astronics AES
Booth: 701
Contact: Dennis Markert / dennis.markert@astronics.com / 425 442 8195

Astronics AES will be displaying their latest product addition to the world leading EmPower(R) In-Seat Power Systems (ISPS) product line. The new EmPower(R) In-Seat Power Supply produces an industry leading 200VA for each Personal Electronic Device (PED) and includes three Universal Serial Bus (USB) power outputs for passenger devices such as smart phones, iPods, cameras, and other standard +5 Volt DC devices. This is all accomplished in a smaller form factor than previous generations of the industry leading EmPower(R) product line.

Company: digEcor
Booth: 627
Contact: Adam Williams / awilliams@digEcor.com

DIGECOR HIGHLIGHTS: We will showcase the digEplayer L7, which airlines around the world have rapidly adopted, as a low cost yet rugged and feature rich IFE solution. Airlines can also find out more about In-flight Content Services, including the ability to support handhelds, overheads, and AVOD systems independent of a digEplayer agreement. Interested in Ancillary Revenue? We’ve been a long time supporter. Our customers have been generating revenue and operating self-sustaining IFE programs for years. So stop by our booth and chat with us about rental programs, shopping solutions, and advertising. We may not have a cool and highly publicized theme for the show, but if we did, it would probably be, “Come for the coffee, stay for the movies.”

Company: Goodrich
Booth number 1309
Contact Dan Vargas / dan.vargas@goodrich.com / (323) 837-2717

Goodrich digital video reproducers (VRUs) are a cost-effective way to update existing tape systems for an enhanced passenger entertainment experience. Be certain to stop by and visit us during APEX.

Company: IFPL
Booth#: 819
Contact: Claire Underwoord / claire.underwood@ifpl.com

Near Field Communication Demo
IFPL has developed an interface between NFC and IFE systems. This takes the mobile wallet concept onto aircraft and addresses the security issues of high value payments. The system on show can be used in a number of ways: as chip and pin; with NFC enabled ‘connect’ cards and with NFC enabled mobile ‘phones. This opens up a range of possibilities from renting movies, buying drinks and food and accessing destination information (i.e. increasing advertising revenue).

Self-testing jack
Currently airline maintenance personnel have to plug a headset into each audio jack to check it is receiving sound. This is time consuming and therefore costly and inefficient in short turnaround times. The self-testing jack has an LED that shows it is receiving a signal, meaning that all personnel have to do is play the IFE and walk through the cabin, spotting faulty jacks at a glance. The really clever thing about this jack is that is does not need any extra power to the seat to work, the light draws power from the audio signal.

Breakaway jack
IFPL’s highly reliable Long Life jack (tested to 100,000 insertions) has been developed to have a 90˚ pull out feature. This means that if a passenger stands up without removing their headset, it will pull away at any angle, without breaking the pin. IFPL has worked with headset suppliers to produce headsets with a smaller pin at the same cost as regular headsets. The breakaway jack will still accept a regular pin if necessary. IFPL see this as a low cost alternative to magnetic jacks.

Competition
As usual, IFPL will be holding a simple competition on their booth. The prize is a Nikon Coolpix digital projector camera. This neat little camera allows immediate projection of your photos onto any flat white surface.

We’re pleased to announce that IFPL will be showcasing an extra product at the APEX show next week!
The “Self Testing Audio Jack” is a neat solution to a common problem. Maintenance personnel have to walk the aircraft with a headset and plug it in to each audio jack at every seat to check that the audio is working. This is a time consuming job, and often means that seats don’t always get tested before a turnaround. Our new product is simple – it has a built-in LED that illuminates when audio is present. A quick scan of the seats tells you whether the jacks are working or not. This means you can go straight to any faulty jacks without wasting time checking every one manually. This simple device will improve IFE Availability and save airlines time and money. The really clever part is that this device doesn’t require power, or batteries – it runs off the audio supply! So, if you want to retrofit an old IFE system without power at the seat, it couldn’t be easier.

Just another reason to come and see us on booth 819 during the APEX show. Hope to see you this week!

Company: The IMS Company
Booth 1210
Contact: Harry Gray, vice president sales & marketing / hgray@imsco-us.com

Building up a head of steam at last spring’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), seat-centric IFE has become a juggernaut and none more so than The IMS Company’s RAVE™ with a backlog of more than 50 aircraft awaiting installation in 2011. If all of the options these orders are activated, the number of aircraft more than doubles. With Lufthansa, airberlin, SriLankan and Brussels Airlines onboard, additional announcements are expected at the Conference—bringing the total to seven or more.

But seat-centric IFE is not all that IMS is up to nowadays. Its new EDGE portables focus on Android OS as a platform that can support multiple versions of tablets. Look for announcements during the Conference.

Company: Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Booth: 301
Contact: Please stop by the Panasonic booth to arrange a tour or set up an appointment.

PANASONIC AVIONICS HIGHLIGHTS: At this year’s APEX Expo, Panasonic Avionics Corporation will be unveiling the three newest members of its X Series family. During the show, attendees are also invited to stop by the Panasonic booth for a chance to ask our eXPerts questions about the most exciting topics in IFEC today including seat centric vs. server-based architectures, Ka vs. Ku, and more. In addition, we are pleased to once again showcase our Cool Room where we’ll demonstrate how some of the most cutting-edge products in the consumer market can be applied to IFEC.

Company: PlaneBill
Booth: 850
Contact: Massimo De Sanctis / Mob: +39 335 222908 / Massimo.DeSanctis@planebill.com

On board portals for passengers (JetPortal) and for crew (CrewPortal).

PlaneApps for the emerging mobile platforms, Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft/Nokia Windows Phone 7, RIM QNX. Apps for smartphones (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android phones and windows phone 7) and tablets (iPad, Android tablets) will be on show.

Before flight data crawler (DataCatering) for flight location based Services (origin/destination). Data mining to provide airline with useful information captured during flight on passengers devices,services, messages, behavior and feedback PlaneRoaming for reaching passengers on their mobile number without a cellular infrastructure.

Company: Rockwell Collins
Booth# 1001
Contact: Kelly Holland / 949-872-3308 (mobile) / klholla1@rockwellcollins.com

Rockwell Collins plans to unveil a new IFE solution for the single-aisle market tomorrow at APEX that will deliver unprecedented versatility for airlines and maximum reliability for passengers. The company also plans to announce stunning enhancements to its dPAVES IFE system, and a new entertainment solution for the regional jet market. Stop by Rockwell Collins’ exhibit to learn more about these new offerings and solutions to enhance the passenger experience.


Company: THALES
Booth#: 1401
Contact: Suzane Treneer / suzane.treneer@us.thalesgroup.com

THALES HIGHLIGHTS: CONNECT, NETWORK, PLAY is the Thales theme this year with focus on the Passenger Experience. Thales will be making significant announcements around in the air and on the ground wireless connectivity. Center stage will be the latest addition to the TopSeries product family, TopSeries AVANT. Installed into a new premium class Contour seat, TopSeries AVANT will include some future system navigation and audio concepts. Other demos include system integration into B/E Aerospace, Weber and Recaro economy seats. In the B/E Seat is a new innovative arm mount designed by Bucher. The up and coming new Thales Application Portal will be featured as well as future modules for Passenger Electronic Device interface capabilities.


Company: TriaGnoSys
Booth# 829
Contact: Charlie Pryor / +44 (0) 20 7031 8270 / charlie.pryor@leidar.com

TriaGnoSys and Siemens CMT have today launched IFEConneX, a complete inflight entertainment and communication (IFEC) solution. It incorporates an entertainment and media distribution system into the TriaGnoSys inflight GSM solution, GSMConneX, which was launched at Aircraft Interiors in April 2011. The lightweight modular system provides three services: GSM, WLAN and wireless streaming of IFE content, enabling business jet operators to combine the three services.

IFEConneX enables passengers to use their own mobile phone, tablet or laptop for calls, text messaging, emails, Internet connectivity, and for Audio and Video On Demand (AVOD). The solution has the capacity to stream individual content to up to 100 passengers simultaneously.

Company: VT Miltope
Booth: 1301
Contact Name: Jeff Drader / jdrader@miltope.com / 949 752 8191

Miltope’s family of network products offer the required functionality necessary to create custom airborne networks similar to how office networks are created. Designed to be readily expanded, they may be configured to define a network that optimizes the combination of interfaces and computing resources to meet the operational, spatial, and functional requirements of simple to complex airborne networks at a minimum cost. Products include servers, Ethernet switches and routers, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless access points, TWLU wireless bridging from an aircraft LAN to a ground LAN, ARINC 744 network printers and ARINC740 cockpit printer, cabin control panels, and data storage devices.

Editors Note: We thought Seattle visitors might like a bit more info on restaurants and we suggest visiting the Yelp website. While there are too many to name here, IFExpress has heard a few “WOW” comments on the following:
Within walking distance to the Conference:
RN 74 – 1433 4th Ave. (4th & Pike), Regional French Cuisine, 206 457 7474
Driving Distance from the Conference:
Revel – 403 N 36th St., Fremont District, Korean Fusion, 206 547 2040
Walrus & Carpenter – 4743 Ballard Ave. NW, American Seafood, 206 395 9227

WAEA, Palm Springs CA – October 08, 2009 – PlaneBill launches “PlaneRoaming”, an innovative system that lets the passengers with a Wi-Fi enabled PDA or smartphone receive SMS and voice calls on their cellular number inflight on a Wi-Fi equipped aircraft with any air-to-ground connection without the need of an onboard cellular Pico-cell, and without the involvement of any mobile operator.

PlaneRoaming consists of a client , which runs on most popular WiFi equipped PDA such as iPhone, Windows Mobile , BlackBerry, Android , Symbian, and that can be used either on the ground or on the plane. The system is completed by an onboard server and by a ground server which maintains the planeroaming database and control the system operations. Web based interfaces allows the operator to control the service, and by setting up the tariffs. By splitting the service between the ground segment and the air segment which is operated by the airline or aircraft operator, roaming agreements with all possible mobile operators subscribed by the passengers are not necessary. Furthermore the airline can choose freely the tariffs, which can be bound to the passenger class.