Rockwell Collins, which supplies hundreds of airlines with its moving map software, has introduced a new 3D map for passengers to play around with during long-haul flights. The software, which allows passengers to watch their progress over a map of the world, includes a selection of multiple 3D map views, points of interest, flight status pages, and connecting gate information, in a choice of languages selectable at the seat.
The company demonstrated a prototype of the Airshow Interactive 3D at the annual World Airlines Entertainment Association (WAEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition taking place this week.
“Airshow Interactive 3D sets a new benchmark for in-flight moving maps by offering the best of both worlds – stunning 3D map views with in-seat interactive capabilities – in one Airshow map application that can be hosted on an IFE system server,” said Andrew Mohr, director, cabin systems marketing for Rockwell Collins. “This is really the ideal solution that our customers have been waiting for, now made possible with the latest generation IFE system hardware.”
As reported previously, however (see Let Me Entertain You in the November 2008 edition of Business Traveller), Rockwell Collins is no longer supplying IFE systems to wide-bodied aircraft, and BA has announced that the new B777-300 aircraft it is receiving will have a new Thales system fitted, but even here, it will be Rockwell Collins which supplies the moving maps.
For the rest of the BA long-haul fleet, however, the current Audio and Video on Demand (AVOD) system is Rockwell Collins’ Digital Total Entertainment System (dTES). This system now has the optional upgrade of allowing passengers to output audio and video to the in-seat displays and headphones from Apple’s iPod and other portable media devices. The new integration feature is available on both the dTes and Enhanced Total Entertainment Systems (eTES) for wide bodied (twin aisle) aircraft. The new integration feature, which includes USB charging capability, works with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod Classic and iPod Nano as well as other popular portable media devices.
Report by Tom Otley