Panasonic Avionics is moving ahead with its ZeroTouch service that enables the wireless data transfer of passenger-facing content to an aircraft.
Launched at the Apex Expo in Singapore last October, ZeroTouch simultaneously gives airlines real-time visibility on performance and improves the efficiency of its maintenance operations.
Speaking at the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Paul Kent, Panasonic Avionic’s Product Line Manager, said ZeroTouch moves data to and from an aircraft using Wi-Fi, 4G or a Ku-band satellite connection.
ZeroTouch reduces an airline’s need to physically touch the aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard.
It provides access to real-time passenger data, software and media, plus content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalised passenger experience.
Kent said ZeroTouch offers an improvement over an airline’s traditional 30-day media update cycle by enabling live updates to data and files stored on the Panasonic inflight entertainment and communications system.
“ZeroTouch helps airlines break out of the traditional monthly update of IFEC content. Now they can update as and when required. Traditionally, airlines have had to manually change up to 600 megabytes of data per month,” he said.
“But now updates can be done as and when required and without manual intervention. It also means that advertising can also be updated more frequently.”
Other applications such as games, live news, and more can be automatically loaded at any time to an entire fleet.
Panasonic said it would start an initial installation trial with Southwest Airlines in July 2017.
“ZeroTouch now means that, theoretically, an airline could have a movie on its fleet the day after it premieres,” said Kent.
In its initial press release, Panasonic said full commercial availability, including content, media and software loading as well as operational data offloading, is expected to immediately follow a Q3 2017 trial.