Cameras, microphones and algorithms: How to make inflight fun more personal

(CNN) – The joy of home today is explained by high -definition movies, voice recorders, and telephones that know us better than we know ourselves.

So when we get on a plane, a decade later, more and more inflighted people can feel like a hangover from another era.

New inflight fun ideas are intended to transform the current inflight experience, creating a personal, high -tech compartment of the future.

If you have big names like technology company Panasonic Avionics and aerospace company Airbus, you can quickly enjoy personal quirks like a movie selection made on board, games in the seat and video chat with pilots at 30,000 feet. .

Private rooms

Astrova is a new inflight protection system from Panasonic Avionics.

Astrova is a new inflight protection system from Panasonic Avionics.

Panasonic Avionics

At the 2022 Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany, Panasonic Avionics unveiled the Astrova, an inflight control (IFE) screen complete with microphone function for voice commands, and a built -in keyboard with a personal sliding cover.

This manual on-off switch is Panasonic’s attempt to allay worries about cameras on airplanes, which came to a head in 2019 when consumers saw the lenses. in IFE screens designed by Panasonic.

Panasonic has avoided these photos, explaining that they will be there on future aircraft, if the aircraft want to implement ideas such as the sit-and-sit video conference below. of the line.

Malware researcher Vitaly Kamluk, whose 2019 Twitter thread about a lens on a Singapore Airlines plane that went viral, expressed concern that passengers were not aware of the lives of passengers. camera, and there is no manual adjustment, which allows the cameras to be easily adjusted. by hackers.
Airlines including Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have issued statements claiming that the cameras have been confiscated, and have no plans to turn them over. A CNN Travel report also reported U.S. senators talking about the issue.
Panasonic Avionics’ David Bartlett, then the company’s chief technology officer and information manager, told CNN Travel at the time that he saw the response as an “overreaction.”

“I believe it will be resolved, the case will be made for the good benefits that come from cameras that are more powerful than the worries that can be used for bad reasons,” Bartlett said. , who left the company.

Three years later, the Astrova side started talking about cameras on airplanes, but Panasonic thinks the change will solve some problems.

Speaking to CNN Travel at AIX 2022, Brian Bardwell, Panasonic’s communications director, said “there are probably lessons to be learned” from the public response in 2019.

The “physical replacement will be very clear,” explained Panasonic’s vice president of finance and economics, Andy Masson, who told CNN Travel that Astrova is a model at AIX. Masson added that motorists will be given detailed instructions on how to use the camera.

Included in the Astrova keyboard is a manual on-off slider switch.

Included in the Astrova keyboard is a manual on-off slider switch.

Panasonic Avionics

The Astrova comes in the form of a non -camera, and it’s up to the planes to decide if they want to include the scene. Panasonic believes the camera option can allow for games for passengers, as well as in -seat communication with car crews.

“As an aircraft, we want to give them the option to be able to connect with their personalities – understand you, your preferences, the first steps of the IFE system – and then drive those interests to you. , or drive games that might interest you, or drive applications that might interest you, ”Masson said.

Runners can manually complete the rails, and they can leave this IFE data collection. But Masson thinks many travelers want as much experience on the ship as possible, because that’s what they’re used to at home.

“I think a lot of people, when they get on a ship, they really look for that recording, and they do whatever it takes to get that recording,” he said.

A 2022 report by global aviation company SITA looking at the role of technology in air travel echoes Masson’s words, arguing that “the more technology there is during travel, the more the joy of the riders. “

The SITA report asked travelers from 27 countries in the first quarter of 2022, looking at their use of technology at each stage of their journey, including registration, transportation. in airplanes and flying.

Panasonic’s Astrova is set to launch Qatar Airways ’Boeing 777X aircraft, with the aircraft to install 22-inch controls in its offices, and 13-inch screens to the economy.

Astrova, which is paired with high -end 4K OLED graphics, with Bluetooth technology allows travelers to connect personal items, as well as upload ports for computers, tablets and phones. .

CNN Travel reports that Qatar Airways has opted for Astrova’s non -camera control.

Panasonic’s microphone system can use voice recorders to search for IFE information, much like Siri on an iPhone. This, along with the camera, can be used for video conferencing of passengers, although CNN Travel is clear that airlines currently do not want to implement this feature.

Making a “flying phone”

Airspace Link is an idea Airbus hopes to make the entire aircraft a "flying phone."

Airspace Link is an Airbus concept that aims to turn the entire aircraft into a “flying phone.”

Dominik Mentzos/Taylor James/Airbus

The SITA report showed that most cars use their laptops, tablets and computers on the fly.

With phones and other personal technologies constantly evolving, it’s hard for planes to keep up – and some carriers see passengers ’reliance on their devices as a deterrent to making money. increasing the IFE. American Airlines, for example, has completely removed the rear seats.

But IFE processors like Panasonic Photographs have a wide range to use personalization features such as built -in screens. That’s how the Astrova works, and how many of the features featured in the concept of Airbus’s new cabin, the Airspace Link, are the latest version of its “cabin connection.” .

Airspace Link is planned to turn the entire airport into a “flying telephone,” Airbus vice president Ingo Wuggetzer told CNN Travel in a new interview.

The result is an office building where everything can be high -tech – from the luggage rack on top that glows when they’re full, to an airplane seat that suits your personal needs.

The Airspace Link can provide visitors with a variety of personalized entertainment options.

The Airspace Link can provide visitors with a variety of personalized entertainment options.

Dominik Mentzos/Taylor James/Airbus

Personal preferences allow us to include a list of movie options, such as how the Netflix algorithm recommends movies based on your features. Travelers can install an app on their mobile phone to access, or use a built -in IFE screen.

Airlines can then look at passenger data and see how they spend their time on board.

“It’s nothing new,” Wuggetzer said of this data collection. “It’s just that we’re using the same things right now on an airplane.”

Airbus market research shows that young pilots have opened up their data used in this way, but older generations are more skeptical.

“Ultimately, you may have the choice not to speak, if you don’t want to,” Wuggetzer said.

Airspace Link’s original iteration, called the Airbus Connected Cabin, included cameras installed outside the flight rooms, designed to communicate information about the number of people waiting. in line. Airbus said eyes were constantly monitored to ensure privacy.

That’s the idea Airbus is trying, but Wuggetzer says its developers aren’t looking at rear -view camera options, not right now.

“Perhaps that option is conceivable,” Wuggetzer said, adding that his team has seen the IFE camera debate before, and that each camera always undergoes a manual switch.

He was unfamiliar with in-seat microphones, which meant the sound could disturb other drivers.

The idea of ​​travel

Vitaly Kamluk, a frequent broadcaster and cybersecurity, whose Tweets led the cameras on airplane conversations in 2019, told CNN Travel that he was pleased with Panasonic’s conversion results for its Astrova camera.

“I approve of their decision to address the personal concerns of many motorists,” Kamluk said.

“Any technology is possible in a day. However, with reliable coverage for video viewers like cameras there is no need to worry anymore.”

Generally, Kamluk said he agrees with the idea of ​​a more private airport, whether it includes a camera, microphone or data collection, even though personal concerns are taken into account.

“A camera with personal control is a great addition to IFE,” he says.

“The need for privacy here stays with us. It hasn’t changed because of the disease and I think we will continue to develop new technologies with respect for the privacy of the people.” use it as a basis for innovation. “

The best photographer is Dominik Mentzos/Taylor James/Airbus

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