APEX Insight: Panasonic Avionic’s newly-announced mobile application, Companion App, spans the airline passenger travel thread, integrating all aspects of the passenger experience.
Passengers will soon be able to personalize their journey before they even set foot on an aircraft, thanks to a new mobile application. “Singapore Airlines is our launch customer for the Companion app,” says Neil James, executive director, Panasonic Avionics. “It’s the first mobile application that spans the entire travel thread because it’s integrated into the inflight entertainment (IFE) and communications systems.”
Prior to a flight, passengers will access Singapore’s unique Krisworld IFE experience, which is integrated with the Companion app. “Working with Singapore Airlines and their partners, we provide the underlying technology and give them complete design freedom,” says James. After entering flight details, passengers will be able to review the entertainment choices available for their flight. They can scan the selection of movies, TV shows and music, watch trailers, and create playlists. Once seated, their personal device is easily paired to the embedded IFE system.
“Onboard the aircraft you can watch the content selections that you’ve preselected, you can do social networking, you can continue your engagement with the airline, or look at the moving map. It truly is a travel companion,” says James. Passengers will also be able to read the inflight magazine, look at details about the aircraft, and access destination information on their personal device.
The Companion app is a key element of James’s vision for the future. He explains that Panasonic’s next generation of IFE system will be targeted at the Boeing 777X, and will reflect technological advancements. “The idea of huge storage onboard combined with the ability to have really high quality content distributed around the aircraft, and then accessing the infinite depth of the web from ‘the edge of the cloud’ for everything else, we can have the best of both worlds. Connectivity is the enabler of that personalized experience,” he says.
All photos by Vance Walstra.