Last night, the APEX EXPO hosted the hotly anticipated awards ceremony, revealing all the winners from the shortlisted categories. Here’s how those in the IFEC industry got on…
Inflight connectivity scooped by VT Miltope
This sought after category had some fierce competition, with the likes of Latécoère and Air France’s LiFi, JetBlue’s Fly-Fi and IFPL’s Bluetooth jack all in the running. However, none could stave off the competition from VT Miltope, with their intelligent wireless cabin networks designed to keep up with the ever-changing threats to cybersecurity.
Their ‘cognitive hotspot technology’ (CHT) uses technologies from RazorSecure and Galgus to create an intelligent network that uses machine learning to become smarter with every iteration. As more connected aircraft come online, security like this is going to become essential in keeping passengers and airlines protected.
American Airlines proves the importance of relaxation
Another category of the awards keenly followed by our readers is the Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation. This was scooped by American Airlines, for their partnership with Calm geared towards giving passengers a more relaxing journey.
Delivered via an app and also through American’s seatback screens, Calm includes mindfulness exercises, guided meditations and nature videos to help passengers de-stress. The company also developed three audio sessions targeted at the specific stressors that typically occur during air travel.
A Crystal Cabin for the Airbus Connected Experience
Airbus has brought a full-size mock-up of the connected cabin to APEX this year and is showcasing its Connected Cabin Experience to event attendees. The IoT platform for aircraft cabins links core cabin components such as seats, overhead bins and galleys to improve the experience for both crew and passengers on board.
From knowing how full the overhead bins are in real time to ordering meals via smartphone apps, the Connected Cabin Experience really showcases the future benefits of fully connected aircraft. Airbus scooped the Crystal Cabin Award for Best Customer Journey Experience in light of their advances with this project.
A lifetime achievement award for Panasonic Avionics’ Bhatia
The APEX lifetime achievement award is a coveted accolade, identifying an individual who has committed themselves to transforming the inflight experience and changing the shape of the industry. This year, the award went to Panasonic Avionics’ former EVP, Brinder Bhatia, for his hand in revolutionizing the IFEC industry over the past four decades.
APEX said that, “even in retirement, Bhatia continued to dedicate his life to IFEC. His drive and determination remain unmatched among his peers, young and old. Regardless of the project, Bhatia’s focus is geared toward airlines and their passenger experience. For this, APEX is proud to honor Brinder Bhatia as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and a lifetime honorary member of APEX.”
The passengers choose Delta
The APEX Passenger Choice Awards use data gathered by the Triplt from Concur app to determine the results. Using a five-star scale, more than one million flights were rated by passengers across nearly 600 airlines from around the world between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019. In the category of best airline WiFi, Delta Air Lines scooped the award.
Delta has partnered with Gogo for inflight connectivity since 2014, and since 2017 has offered free mobile messaging to all passengers. Earlier this year, the carrier began testing its ability to offer high speed Gogo 2Ku connectivity for free, undertaking a two week trial with a view to rolling out free WiFi in the future.