RGN Live at APEX: Day 2


3:38: One on one with Airborne’s Earle Olson 

After more than 36 years in the industry, Airborne Wireless Network’s Hershey, Pennsylvania-based VP industry affairs Earle Olson has an extensive background in airborne applications from IFE and networking, to flight controls, sensors, and more.

RGN Live caught up with Olson today at the EXPO to learn more about his role in assisting in the deployment of the company’s Infinitus Super Highway and related activity.

2:24: HAECO aims to increase speed to market with new Vector Premium PE strategy

In an increasingly crowded — but delivery-constrained — premium economy market, seatmaker HAECO is showing off its new Vector Premium seat at the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

HAECO senior vice president of engineering José Pevida demonstrates the seat to Runway Girl Network, including its seamless legrest, acccessible manual controls, and the zones of flexibility that HAECO believes will speed airline customisation through the certification process, a key bottleneck in seat production.

Areas on both the front and the back of the seat are open for airlines to customise in a wide variety of ways, from power to storage to PED holders and other functionalities. And spot the patented multi-directional headrest in action too!

Read more about the Vector Premium platform on Runway Girl Network!

1:59pm: Netflix wants on board? Telefonix PDT’s Mark Schwartz has an answer

1:43pm: Bluebox wows with ‘Wow’ walk-on IFE

12:50: SITAONAIR shows off award-winning airline portal options

Portals are a huge theme at this year’s APEX Expo, and SITAONAIR’s is one of the best — officially, thanks to winning an APEX Award earlier this week. The company’s Marianne Lespes demonstrates the wide variety of customisation options, drag-and drop changes, and live modification opportunities available to airlines and their passengers.

Monetisation, too, is on offer, as airlines increasingly look to bolster the business case for their inflight connectivity systems, with another fully customisable set of options that airlines can quite literally tap SITAONAIR to provide.

See RGN Premium for an inside interview with SITAONAIR’s chief technology officer Gregory Ouillon and vice president for strategy, portfolio and marketing Dominique El Bez on how the company created its award-winning portal.

12:05: Kontron explains how AirDefense bolsters cabin Wi-Fi security

11:30: IFE veteran Jovita Toh on Encore’s latest slate of IFE “hidden gems”

Anyone who’s seen Encore Inflight Limited CEO Jovita Toh and her spirited, color-coordinated team in action at APEX events over the years knows that the IFE industry vets at team Encore bring a whole lot more than a playful fashion sense to the EXPO every fall. Imbuing everything they do with that same soulful passion for the job at hand, Toh and company have been bringing a diverse, artfully-curated slate of world-class IFE selections from around the globe to their airline customers for years. And this fall’s slate looks just as promising.

RGN Live caught up with Toh yesterday for a lively discussion about some of Encore’s latest acquisitions, the current state of Southeast Asian cinema, and perhaps most importantly, the thrill of discovering “hidden gems” from around the world on the IFE dial while jetting through the clouds on an airplane.

11:10: Tom Daly shows the proper way to eat a stroopwafel in-flight

Invented in Gouda, Netherlands in the late 18th century, stroopwafels have attained something of a cult following over the past couple of years. Especially with hipster travelers and AvGeeks who have fallen hard for the soft cookie on United flights worldwide. And though in English the word stoopwafel translates literally as “syrup waffles,” for fans online the popular Twitter hashtag #AmsterdamGoodCookies is probably a more apt description of the cookie The Huffington Post once referred to as one the most “underrated cookies” on the planet.

RGN Live was lucky to chat this afternoon at IFSA with Tom Daly, the CEO of The Brand Passport, the company who handles Daelmans USA, to learn more about the origin of this iconic cookie, the ever-growing cult of stroopwafel and even get a first hand demonstration of the proper way to eat a stroopwafel in-flight. Enjoy!

9:40: Brandini Toffee takes flight at IFSA

First launched as a fundraising effort for a trip to Italy by high school students Brandon Weimer and his best friend Leah Post in 2006, Brandini Toffee has gone from hometown hit to the stuff of homemade candy-making legend in just eleven short years. Dedicated to the lost art of handcrafted toffee created with premium, preservative-free and GMO-free ingredients, Brandini Toffee is still run today by the Weimer and Post families.

Aside from spawning three hugely successful storefronts in the Palm Springs area, Brandini Toffee has also been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, QVC, the Food Network, and even made Oprah’s coveted O List. Attending IFSA for the first time this year, co-founder Brandon Weimer says he and Post are hoping to take their award-winning toffee to even grander heights by offering to the airlines as well.

Check out RGN Live’s chat with Weimer below.

9:10: Flightpath 3D continues development of industry-leading map software

After years of stagnation from providers of the ubiquitous inflight entertainment moving map — indeed, the days of wondering why shipwrecks 39,000 feet below the aircraft are marked are not yet over — Flightpath 3D keeps innovating to provide new options for passengers.

Flightpath 3D’s Duncan Jackson tells Runway Girl Network’s Mary Kirby that airlines and passengers are expecting the kind of high-definition, pinch-to-zoom, tap-for-info functionality they’re used to every day.

With the new 3D birds-eye map, together with points of interest — merged with new developments in the Flightpath labs that involve some of the slickest and best executed monetisation RGN has seen in years — Flightpath 3D looks set to retain its leadership in the industry’s estimation

8:40: Spafax and Business Traveller bring the inflight magazine to the digital age

Taking the concept of digital, multi-platform IFE to dizzying new heights this week, Spafax announced plans to launch a Business Traveller TV show that will bring the magazine’s stories to life for passengers like never before.

Designed to compliment rather than mirror the stellar content of Business Traveller’s print edition, the show is the definition of multi-platform entertainment and will be syndicated for IE, online and via partners and will be able to be watched and shared on passenger’s devices, at the airport, in-flight, or at their destination.

“The modular build of the show allows us to deliver the right content for every channel,” said Jonathan Gilbert, director of digital content and innovation, Spafax. “This, combined with the opportunity to engage the world’s most influential audience, represents an exciting media opportunity for our partners.”

“Our vision for this project was to create a flexible content solution that our clients and partners could customize and ultimately engage with their customers across multiple touchpoints,” said Spafax CEO Niall McBain. “As a trusted editorial voice among frequent flyers, Business Traveller are the ideal launch partner for us to achieve this vision.”

Set to debut October 1st on a number of carrier’s worldwide, the first three episodes of the program are available to license now, with new episodes scheduled to be released early next year. To learn more about this very cool new approach to IFE, check out RGN Live’s exclusive interview with McBain below.

8:15: Acro diversifies economy seat offering, straddling barebones to fully featured

If you were waiting for the semi-annual spectacle of someone climbing on a sturdy Acro Series 3 table, this is the video for you! Deputy editor John Walton speaks with the company’s senior vice president for sales Alan McInnes, who reminds us just how robust the barebones Series 3 is, and explains how the seatmaker is filling the gap between it and the fully featured Series 6, soon to début on Air New Zealand.

The trick, McInnes explains, is to figure out how to appeal to airlines that don’t want an obviously barebones seat but certainly do want the benefits of lower maintenance, fewer moving parts and the opportunity to eschew the weight and cost of embedded inflight entertainment.

Acro is taking aim at the bigger players in the industry, and with a glowing reputation and order momentum, this seatmaker is one to watch.