Emirates enhances inflight entertainment experience with new user interface

The Emirates inflight entertainment unit.

As part of inflight entertainment improvements, Emirates has announced the launch of a new, enhanced, Graphical User Interface (GUI) developed by Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic).

The new GUI will make accessing Emirates’ inflight entertainment system, ice Digital Widescreen, much simpler to use and accessible at the passenger’s fingertips.

The new interface will be introduced within two weeks across Emirates’ A380 fleet and subsequently over the next year across the majority of Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft. It will be available in all classes of service, an Emirates standard.  As the world’s largest operator of the A380 and Boeing 777, Emirates will upgrade all aircraft equipped with the Panasonic eX2 platform; designed and produced with (Panasonic), the world leader in state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and communication (IFEC) systems.

“Emirates has been tracking the commercial progress of GUIs, where an ever-expanding array of choices are available to consumers, and we wanted to bring the same experience, look, and feel available on smart phones and tablets to our loyal customers in an aircraft environment,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline in a media.

“Emirates has always been committed to continuous innovation of our ice systems and to providing our passengers with a unique and memorable onboard experience. Subsequently, over the past 24 months working with our partner, Panasonic, Emirates has succeeded in creating a smart and simplified interface which will appeal to customers of all ages,” noted Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, Emirates regional manager for East Africa.

Going forward, Emirates will roll-out a number of additional inflight product enhancements across the next few months as part of a multi-million dollar investment in onboard technology. Larger video screens, in all classes, will come into operation from May on new Boeing 777 aircraft, in addition to future Airbus A380 deliveries. An enhanced in-seat telephone handset and new Mode Controller in First Class and Business Class will also be introduced, ensuring a more seamless customer experience.

The new GUI is unique to Emirates airline and includes a wide range of advanced capabilities that enhances the distinctiveness and elegance of Emirates’ inflight system, ice Digital Widescreen. The new ice experience includes the capability for passengers to discover the full entertainment system by “swiping” or “scrolling” through the vast library of media and entertainment that is available on Emirates, send SMS and email messages, explore the moving map system, Airshow, watch the in-flight landscape cameras, and access live text news from the BBC.

Since Emirates first introduced individual seatback video screens in 1992, it has invested millions of dollars in further on-board product enhancements, from the latest IFE technology, to an ever increasing choice of entertainment content from around the world.

Emirates is also committed to keeping its passengers the most connected in the sky. Every seat on all Emirates aircraft is already equipped with a seatback telephone and sms/email service and 90 aircraft feature the AeroMobile system, allowing passengers to use their own mobile phones inflight.

In another investment in the Emirates experience, Wi-Fi connectivity for passengers was introduced to the A380 fleet in December 2011 and is now available on 18 aircraft. All remaining Emirates A380s are due to have Wi-Fi installed this year and from July of 2012 all new A380s will be delivered to Emirates with full Wi-Fi, mobile phone and data services available, allowing the Emirates passenger to be in touch like never before.