Image via Burrana

After initially postponing its announcement, which was scheduled for this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in April, Burrana has revealed details about Rise, its most advanced IFE platform to date.

Burrana has unveiled a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) platform, Rise, which can be configured to accommodate any combination of seatback, wireless and overhead systems as well as in-seat power, depending on an airline’s needs. It is powered by a single software stack, shared hardware and a common 48VDC power backbone, allowing customers to scale the solution up or down when necessary.

Airlines can choose from a baseline solution, which has very short lead times; an increasingly configurable version, which allows airlines to choose from a number of hardware options and value-added applications and services, such as a moving map powered by partner FlightPath3D; or a fully customizable system, which allows third party developers to create and integrate new applications using an SDK.

The Rise platform delivers targeted advertisements using Signal Lamp Entertainment’s Ad Republic solution and uses crowd-sourced data and intelligent algorithms to create a “Netflix-like” experience. “Up and down votes for movies show in real time what’s hot onboard the aircraft,” explained David Pook, vice-president, Marketing and Sales Support at Burrana. “Real-time recommendations are based not just on those ratings, but also on what passengers are looking at. We can also collect very relevant data, which we call contextual feedback, based on one-question surveys that pop up.”

“Airlines will be able to add or remove apps from aircraft via a simple, web-based tool and make changes to their GUI by themselves.” – David Pook, Burrana

“Rise has completely eliminated the need for time-consuming and expensive change requests … Airlines will be able to add or remove apps from aircraft via a simple, web-based tool and make changes to their GUI by themselves, without the need for formal acceptance testing,” Pook continued. He believes the tool offers the best configurability in the industry: “It’s not just the colors and logos, it’s the enabling and disabling of applications; it’s moving, resizing and changing the functionality of different buttons.”

In terms of rollout, Burrana is looking to bring wireless in-flight entertainment to airlines still carrying legacy Collins PAVES hardware first, in a campaign it has branded Rise Up. “We wanted to provide them with the ability to upgrade without having to rip out everything. We can do it at roughly 50% of the cost of introducing something completely new … by reusing as many of the legacy components as possible.”

Rise’s seatback displays, which are in the prototype phase, will be 4K ultra high definition resolution and feature high dynamic range. Burrana said they will have large amounts of local storage and support integrated single-pin audio, Bluetooth, near field communication and either USB-C or USB-A in-seat power. Although it’s “the most sexy” part of the new platform, Pook said Burrana has shifted its priorities towards the elements of the Rise portfolio which are most cost-effective in light of COVID-19. As such, it predicts the seatback displays will be available to offer in 2021 for retrofit in 2022 and linefit installation in 2023.

In-seat power can be integrated with a seatback screen or as a standalone product. Burrana has already delivered some configurations to LATAM and Virgin Australia, but the complete range is offerable now and will be available for retrofit in 2021 with linefit availability to follow. Pook identified that Burrana is currently the only supplier that can provide three amps of power in the USB-A port, “which is 43% more than the 2.1 amp solutions you typically see.”

Across the board, Pook said Rise comes is approximately 30% lighter than other similar solutions, which could provide airlines with savings of between $16,000 to $45,000 per aircraft, per year, depending on whether it’s a narrow-body or a wide-body.

Although the name Rise was coined before the coronavirus pandemic, Pook said it’s even more appropriate f0r the industry now: “Our message is clear: We will rise again.”