Qantas airline has announced that they will be introducing the first available in-flight entertainment streamed wirelessly to tablet devices in a trial that will commence at the end of October on one Boeing 767-300 flying domestic routes.
The trial will run six weeks and will use Qantas’ current entertainment program broadcasted on a tablet that will be supplied by the airline.
Of course, one of the many questions swirling around since the announcement is, “Which brand of tablet will be used?” No official announcement on that has been made yet, but Qantas did say Apple’s popular iPad was among the models being considered.
Later in the trial, a system called “Q Streaming” will be made available to passengers for viewing on their personal tablets, laptops or smartphones.
Alison Webster, Qantas’ customer experience manager said, “We are very pleased to be the first airline in the world to trial this wireless streaming product.”
Once the trial is complete, the system will be assessed for wider rollout both domestically and internationally. Supplied tablets will be specially configured not to work outside the aircraft to deter theft.
The system could also include a “play-back” option, which will allow passengers who were streaming on personal devices to complete their viewing even after leaving the aircraft if they ran out of time during the flight.
The tablet system is said to offer significant fuel efficiencies once they replace seat-back entertainment because of the difference in weight.
Qantas’ budget offshoot, Jetstar, currently offers iPads for rent on some of its flights. American Airlines has already launched a similar program to what Qantas is planning, however on American, Samsung Galaxy tablets are used for first and business class domestic passengers only and content is pre-loaded rather than streamed direct.