Flying can be extremely boring and uncomfortable. If you are flying for more than an hour or two it is easy to get a little stir crazy. For years carriers have been offering various forms of entertainment to help flyers pass the time. This has included the dreaded in-headset monitor. While it sometimes does the job, people are definitely looking forward to a day where in-flight entertainment is always entertaining. To get a read on what the future holds I spoke with. all things flying in order to provide as much information for their customers as possible. When asked what people can hopefully expect in the future, they gave me three advancements that could be on the way.
In-Plane Social Networks
One thing that airlines are looking into are in-flight social networks. For the most part, planes can be lonely, especially as you are largely unable to use phones to communicate with the ground or kill time checking twitter. So, airlines are now looking into building in-flight social networks that allow communication between passengers and sharing of photos or videos. While the idea sounds a little strange, people have developed an acceptance of sharing their personal lives with others, so, in-flight social networks isn’t much of a stretch.
With the advancement in display technology, it is expected that someday carriers will start adding to displays to the windows of aircraft. But what is expected to be shown? The idea is that info like time, estimated time of arrival, and temperature at destination could be displayed conveniently in each row according to JustFly.
Passenger Supplied Hardware
The big one. Firstly some facts. JustFly says that the incumbent head-set displays that occupy today’s planes are some of the most expensive components on a plane. They can cost any where from $3,000,000 to $8,000,000 per plane and often are years behind in terms of technology due to the certifications necessary to get them approved for use in planes. Not to mention, they have ten year service lives, meaning by the time they are removed, they could be 15 years behind the times. So, what’s the fix? Allowing people to use the myriad of devices they bring on the plane anyways. While in-flight networking is a still contested issue, there may be ways for users to simply bring a tablet on the plane, and connect with a media library, allowing passengers to get the same experience they get now, while reducing cost and weights of planes.