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Sep 24, 2014
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Panasonic Avionics Corporation just wrapped up a major exhibit of its technologies at the week-long 2014 Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo (APEX) from September 16 to 18 in Anaheim, California. APEX is one of the largest exhibitions for the worldwide airline industry, and Panasonic Avionics has been using this show as an international platform to spotlight its newest advances for many years.
APEX and the concurrent International Flight Services Association (IFSA) annual conference together host more than 1,400 delegates from 120 airlines and over 250 vendors from dozens of industries - ranging from In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) to airline catering - all with a strong interest in to enhancing the airline passenger experience. Sharing this goal, Panasonic Avionics recognized within the industry for the integral role it plays in the services that support an improved passenger experience. This year Panasonic showcased a variety of technologies from the latest in In-Flight Entertainment, Wireless Connectivity and more.
Among Panasonic Avionics highlights at the show was the announcement with Boeing Network and Space Systems together they would develop a groundbreaking broadband electronically steered phased array antenna for commercial airliners. The jointly designed lightweight antenna, which will deliver Panasonic's eXConnect broadband in-flight Wi-Fi service, will reduce fuel burn and emissions through a 65 percent reduction in operational system weight and drag, without compromising Wi-Fi connection speed.
Panasonic also announced plans to use Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology in its in-flight entertainment systems, an aviation industry first. Aviation analysts had recently predicted on-board NFC applications were still years away, but Panasonic expects to NFC technology with airlines as early as the summer of 2015.
Passengers and crew will now be able to use NFC-enabled smart phones and cards in flight in many unique ways including, making high-value sales transactions, synchronization of personal data to create just-for-me experiences, recognition of a passenger's Frequent Flyer status via NFC card or phone, enabling crew to check in and out for duty using NFC, etc.
Analysts expect there to be huge growth in the use of NFC-enabled phones, with 200 million phones already in circulation capable of enabling mobile payments. This prediction was reinforced by the recent announcements that the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will use NFC for their new Apple Pay service.
Rounding out the news, Air Europa said it has chosen Panasonic Avionics' eX3 and eXConnect in-flight entertainment and communications solutions for its new 787-8 Dreamliner fleet. Air Europa will become the first airline in Spain to offer in-flight broadband provided by selecting Panasonic's - Ku-band satellite service - the only global network solely dedicated to aviation.
From collaborating with industry leaders like Boeing, to enhancing passenger comfort by expanding in-flight entertainment options, to adding unique new dimensions to the passenger experience with NFC technology, Panasonic used the 2014 APEX/IFSA Expo to demonstrate its commitment to the industry and long-term technology leadership.
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