We’ve seen plenty of change in terms of using personal electronics on flights in recent months. For example, it isn’t uncommon to be able to use ‘small’ electronics from gate to gate at this point. But with that in mind, it seems Lufthansa is going to begin swapping in-seat entertainment screens in favor of smartphones and tablets.
Lufthansa senior vice president Nobert Mueller recently spoke about the different options they have for screens on airplanes. Mueller touched on how many US airlines offer the seat-back screens, and how many European airlines use the ceiling-mounted screens. He then mentioned how neither are perfect, and about how they often provide poor sight angles with neither really being able to provide a “real personal experience.”
This brought about the discussion of allowing passengers to use their personal devices — but still take advantage of in-flight entertainment options. Basically, swapping the screens in the seat backs, for the tablets and smartphones in the passenger bags. This resulted in something called BoardConnect, which is a server that passengers are able to connect to. This setup means the airlines will be able to offer custom content, including targeted advertisements and other on-flight offers.
On the passenger side, this setup even allows the person to place orders for food and/or drink. The BoardConnect setup runs in Windows Server 2008, and also takes advantage of Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM to block passengers from saving content. Perhaps more important though, there is an app available for Android, including the Kindle Fire, as well as iOS and Windows 8.