Panasonic Avionics and Emirates have unveiled a range of IFEC enhancements that will be introduced on the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER cabins with a view to enhancing the experience and reducing weight. Here are the developments in brief:
• A next-generation mode controller in the form of a slim, 13in tablet, which acts as a second screen for seat and cabin environment control and to navigate the ‘ice’ IFE system. The tablet offers wi-fi, Bluetooth, a high-definition camera, microphone and speaker.
• A pebble-shaped wireless handset designed to fit naturally in the palm of the hand, with control buttons including interactive navigation, channel, volume, flight attendant call, light, TV on/off, menu and sleep. The sleep button is unique and with the press of a button the suite is put into sleep mode; a second press restores full functionality to the suite.
• The new room service video call feature enables passengers to communicate in real time with the cabin crew using video chat functionality from the next-generation mode controller. Passengers will be able to place requests via voice and video, and can also request privacy with the device’s Do Not Disturb mode settings.
• The new 23in full HD Smart Monitor is the largest monitor size in business class across Emirates’ fleet. It includes HDMI ports and capacitive touchscreen capabilities.
First class and business class
Both classes benefit from the following enhancements:
• A high-power single USB Type-C charging jack. The new standard for phone charging, the jack provides access to high-power charging as well as data. This is in addition to the existing high-charge USB Type-A charging.
• The new HD-Premium seat box is a performance upgrade from the existing seat technology and supports two high-power charging remote jack units and noise-canceling audio jacks. These seat boxes are claimed to have an almost 20% higher graphic performance compared to other IFE system types.
• The Slim Seat Power Module provides high-power DC voltage for USB charging, with reduced weight and a thinner profile.
A series of new IFEC innovations in economy class have created a claimed 35% reduction in weight while adding the following technologies:
• The ‘Super Eco’ economy monitors have high-end, integrated physical control buttons for a luxury feel. They also feature ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touchscreen, LED backlight and full HD display, as well as high-power USB Type A and Type C, Bluetooth, a high-resolution camera, 3D multiplayer gaming and integrated audio connector. All of this new technology has been integrated into a slimmer, smaller monitor that features a 35 percent lighter design.
• The dual USB high-power jacks are designed to cater for the present and the new standard for phone charging, providing access to quick data and high-power charging via USB Type-C (with both Type-A and Type-C) charging ports.
• The new Slim Seat electronic boxes are slim and lightweight, designed to provide maximum performance and passenger device power yet have zero impact on passenger living space, and reduce weight by 22%.
• The Slim Seat power module can provide in-seat power for up to four seats, with a lightweight and slender profile unit that reduces weight. A new power distribution solution provides a high-charge USB charge port at every seat.
Hideo Nakano, CEO at Panasonic Avionics said, “Emirates challenged us two years ago to take another huge step forward with the ‘ice’ experience in all classes of service, while reducing weight by 12%. Together, we did it.”