Why can’t I have this on an airplane?

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
06/20/23 3 MIN READ

Welcome to Beyond Entertainment, a new podcast series from Panasonic Avionics where host Andy Masson sits down with airline executives, technology leaders, research partners, and the occasional Panasonic Avionics subject matter expert to take a deep dive on the future of passenger experiences.

In our inaugural episode Andy chats with Edward (Ed) Dryden, President of Interiors at Collins Aerospace, about the importance of emotion and personalization in the cabin. They also discuss  how long-range narrowbody aircraft are pushing the industry to innovate and what the interiors manufacturer is working on next.

Andy also  takes a peek behind the curtain at the latest offerings from Collins, including their new Aurora seat and a preview of their InteliSence™ machine learning technology. Plus, they answer the age-old question, “Jam and cream or cream and jam?”

Emotion is the most important aspect of the cabin experience

Surprised to hear this from an engineer? You shouldn’t be. Whether seated in the first row of First Class, or the last row of Economy, the bulk of an in-flight experience comes from your seat, so how that seat makes you feel is of critical importance to any airline.

It’s why Collins Aerospace puts so much effort into understanding what passengers are feeling when they fly, and understanding how they can improve or augment those feelings through things like personalization and predictive analytics.

Personalization will play a key role in the future of passenger experience. If we look to automotive and smart home markets—i.e., the places where we all spend the bulk of our time— personalization has changed how we interact with technology.

Your car sets a seat position, a radio dial, a temperature setting. Your smart home might greet you upon waking up by sharing your day’s calendar and turning on your shower to the correct temp. The expectation on what a technology product can deliver has gone way up, and Ed asks, perhaps challenging our whole industry, “Why can’t I have this on an airplane?”

Andy was fortunate to preview InteliSence™ at the Collins Aerospace booth at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, at the start of June. You can read all about this award winning technology here, but in short, machine learning and artificial intelligence take the reins through an array of sensors to make predictive service, maintenance, and personalized experiences a reality.

In practice, Andy saw first-hand how the system notified the cabin crew when his drink was half-full or empty, or if he had finished dining. He even got to tuck in and read a good book, his reading light provided automatically by the InteliSence™ system.

Increased range for narrowbody aircraft

At Panasonic, we’re seeing the narrowbody single aisle aircraft taking on new missions with their increased range. Complementing those new missions is an increased need for lie-flat seats, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, and an overall improved passenger experience for those types of aircraft. For Collins Aerospace, Ed explains that flexibility is key in being able to address the varied mission types that these aircraft can undertake.

Jam and cream or cream and jam

If you made it this far and you’re looking for the answer to what might be the most important question we asked Ed— well, you’re just going to have to listen to the podcast to find out.

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