The aviation community is looking forward to Google’s Android mobile operating system, as a Future for In Flight Entertainment Connectivity (IFEC), in order to develop new and exciting software and applications for airliners.
Thales will get the Android bandwagon rolling with the launch of a new touch passenger media unit (TouchPMU) that is designed to act as a stand-alone media access device as well as a controller for its TopSeries i8000 IFEC system and its new, as-yet-unnamed fourth generation (4G) IFEC system, which will be launched on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787s before the end of 2011. According to the Flightglobal source, Thales is looking forward to introduce 4g platform, with Android operating system, by 2013, which may equip in later 787 versions. Panasonic, meanwhile, is looking to beat Thales to market by offering a new Android-based IFEC platform before the end of 2011.
Panasonnic has recently launched world’s first application store,which will give software developers the opportunity to see their ideas fly. Implemented in partnership with software developer CoKinetic Systems, the Panasonic Avionics App Store aims to tap into the energy and excitement of the rapidly expanding open platform application developer community.
The App Store will serve as the storefront and aggregation point for existing and future applications for Panasonic IFEC systems. Airlines, through a secure log in, will be able to see apps available, apps under development and access the community of developers should they want their own apps developed. The target date for the Panasonic App Store to open for business is first quarter 2011. Development of the store comes at a time when Panasonic is investing heavily in research and development to potentially use the Android operating system for its next generation IFEC system.