Exhibitors and airlines from around the world gathered in Los Angeles last week for the Airline Passenger Experience’s 40th annual APEX EXPO.
Celebrating their ruby anniversary in high style, APEX — which began life as the World Airline Entertainment Association or WAEA in 1979 — opened on day one with a series of powerful keynote speeches emphasizing the importance of sustainability, taking a more holistic approach to improving the passenger experience, and, above of all else, collaboration across the industry.
The Spirit Of Collaboration
Highlighting the vast and unique opportunities that the digital transformation brings for airlines, airports, OEMs, and suppliers to work together and revolutionize the end-to-end passenger experience through technology, APEX, in its 40th year, seemed more alive with possibilities than ever.
In addition to celebrating the significant achievements of the Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) innovators from the past with their yearlong “40 Success Stories” series on the apex.aero blog and magazine, APEX went out of their way to welcome new, smaller companies and airlines into the fold as well — many of whom were attending the Expo for the very first time.
In keeping with this year’s theme of collaborating to create a personalized, more engaging passenger experience for all, Panasonic announced several exciting new strategic collaborations of our own at APEX.
Vistara Named Launch Customer for ArcTM and Games
Set to take flight on Vistara’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321neo aircraft in 2020, Panasonic’s high-flying Arc Inflight Map Platform and Games are definitely not your grandparents’ inflight map and gaming solutions.
Offering passengers a fully-integrated IFEC experience with unique features such as map personalization, premium destination, and point-of-interest content, and a host of new ancillary revenue opportunities through alignment with our Theatre inflight entertainment and Marketplace e-commerce solutions, Arc is the perfect fit for Vistara, which was recently voted India’s best airline.
On the gaming side, the sky is, quite literally, the limit for Vistara as well. Offering Vistara’s diverse passenger base a selection of popular brand name games from around the globe, our top-tier gaming offering (which is part of our Theatre entertainment solution) appears to align itself perfectly with Vistara’s mission to provide memorable, personalized experiences for their passengers throughout the region.
“We continue to pioneer solutions that bring clear differentiation and value for our airline customers,” Gaston Sandoval, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President of Product Management and Marketing.
“Our new generation of digital products like Arc, combined with leading entertainment partners, are gaining momentum in the market across all airline segments”.
“Our vision is to inspire the next generation to travel, learn about the world around them, and have fun while doing it.”
Panasonic Avionics’ Chief Technology Officer
Easy as One, Two, Three: Inflight Maps for Kids
Speaking of games, our second major announcement at APEX last week included plans to extend our existing relationship with kid’s gaming innovators, Toca Boca, to evaluate the creation of an inflight map designed especially for children. Merging the magic of inflight maps with gaming like never before, our kid-friendly moving map would be an industry first.
Utilizing Arc’s personalized 3D inflight map platform in a whole new fashion, the map plans to blend Toca Boca’s knack for crafting colorful, inclusive games for kids of all ages and genders with Arc’s state-of-the-art technology to produce a fun, whimsical UX designed to keep kids both entertained and informed inflight.
With family travel — particularly millennial family travel — on the rise in the past few years, and inflight gaming becoming more popular than ever, this looks to be a marriage made in IFEC heaven.
David Bartlett, Panasonic Avionics’ Chief Technology Officer put the forward-focused collaboration in perspective during the show.
“Our vision is to inspire the next generation to travel, learn about the world around them, and have fun while doing it,” said Bartlett. “At Panasonic, we’re constantly innovating to enhance the passenger experience for flyers of all ages, and the launch of our child-friendly map is a big step forward on that journey.”
A continued focus on Wellness
Another huge draw at our booth this year at APEX was our Wellness suite, including the Jet Lag Adviser app which we continue to develop through our longtime relationship with Etihad Airways.
Designed to aid passengers in their adjustment to the stresses of travel and time variations by sending gentle reminders with suggested actions at every step of their travel journey, the Jet Lag App is yet another example of our continuing efforts to improve the end-to-end passenger experience through technology.
Thanks to all who stopped by our booth in Los Angeles for making APEX 40 such a banner year. We can’t wait to see you next year when APEX EXPO relocates to sunny San Diego, California.
See you then!