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Rockwell Collins' Lupita Ho discusses IFEC trends

 

What does Rockwell Collins offer?
Rockwell Collins offers high-definition (HD) productivity and entertainment solutions for business aircraft cabins, including its Venue CMS and its new Skybox solution that brings the Apple experience to an aircraft environment. Rockwell Collins has installed more HD CMSs on business aircraft than any other company and continues to be first in introducing innovative solutions such as our Skybox and our Airshow application for mobile devices.

 

What trends do you see emerging?
Wireless streaming of content is readily available at home. Passengers expect this same capability, coupled with the need to be entertained, on an aircraft. This is creating a strong need for this capability while on board. Passengers want to be able to get streaming video on demand using their own portable devices, whether it’s an iOS or Android tablet.

 

What are the biggest challenges in the IFEC industry at the moment?
Consumer technology is continuously changing and it is difficult for the aviation industry to enable those technologies in the aircraft quickly. Before we introduce a technology we perform a market study to ensure that it is not just a trend, and that it can be supported on the aircraft for years to come.

 

What were your most recent successes?
Because of its highly reliable and customisable architecture, Dassault selected Venue for its FalconCabin HD+ cabin system on Falcon 7X, 900LX and 2000LX aircraft. Venue has also been selected for several ACJs and BBJs, because of its customisable and scalable architecture. The most recently announced Venue installation on a VIP aircraft was by Jet Aviation Basel on an ACJ319.

 

What are your latest technologies?
Our newest technology, called Skybox, brings the full Apple experience to life in business aircraft. It is the first system to securely and wirelessly stream Hollywood-protected content on demand throughout the cabin, using iOS devices like iPads or iPhones. Skybox’s 1TB storage capacity provides more than enough space to house a broad array of HD movies, music and pictures.

 

Where do you see the market in 10 years’ time?
Based on the speed at which consumer technology changes, and its influence on the business aircraft cabin, that is a very tough question to answer. At Rockwell Collins, we believe that in today’s environment, the question has shifted from a vision of the future to how fast can a company develop a certified solution that incorporates today’s consumer technology trends.

 

 

Lupita Ho is principle marketing manager for cabin systems at Rockwell Collins. This interview was conducted in February 2013.

 

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