RGN Live at APEX: Day 3

SmartSky - Finally WifI that Wows

2:35: InSeat’s immersive IFE-linked massage chair wows to close out APEX and AIX

Exhibitors at the APEX and Aircraft Interiors Expos have talked immersive technology for a while now, but we haven’t seen anything as purely joy-bringing as the experience InSeat Solutions offers with its hybrid sound-based massage system — which can also be linked in with the inflight entertainment system for a cinema-style body-rumbling sound.

After a long day walking the show floor, InSeat’s massage system felt great, both in a low-pressure but surprisingly effective massage mode and when linked to a music video. The system brought grins to the faces of even longterm industry stalwarts who tried it while RGN was at the booth at the end of the day.

2:35: InSeat’s air bladders make for remarkably improved #PaxEx

2:05: Geven shows off full economy & premium seat lineup

Buongiorno! With a major European customer announcement looming shortly, Italian seatmaker Geven’s Americas sales chief Massimiliano Guerriero is excited to show off the company’s current lineup of seating products at the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

All these seats — Essenza, Elemento, and two variants of the premium economy/regional business-first Commoda — are flying today, with new customisations coming soon to an aircraft near you.

1:15: “Content-ivity” is the word says GE’s Amir Samnani

In an industry brimming with ominous-sounding acronyms and catchy buzzwords, Global Eagle upped the ante considerably today with what might just be the coolest IFE term ever: “Content-ivity.”

RGN Live joined GE’s SVP product services, Amir Samnani, for a late breakfast this morning to learn more about Global Eagle’s latest renewals, its state-of-the-art studio and lab in Irvine, California and that killer new IFE buzzword.

12:45: Figueroa Mt. Brewerylooking for perfect pour in-flight!

Founded in California’s picturesque Santa Ynez Valley by craft beer enthusiasts Jim Dietenhofer and his son Jaime in 2010, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. was named after the mountain seen from the family’s home in Los Olivos. And though the business has grown steadily over the past seven years and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. beers have earned something of a cult following in craft brewery circles, success on the airline industry front has remained elusive.

Preparing to launch an airline-friendly canned version of three of their signature brews, Fig Mountain Mosaic, Hoppy Poppy IPA, and FMB “101” Blonde, the hugely-popular craft brewery attended their first IFSA show this week in Long Beach. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.’s director of customer relations Brian Flynn sat down with RGN Live at the end of the day yesterday for a quick chat about this distinctively California brew.

11:55: Aviointeriors demonstrates brand new Galileo fully flat business class seat

If you were expecting an upgrade to Aviointeriors’ Adagio seat, think again: the seatmaker hit pause on the next-generation staggered product to whip up its new Galileo business class platform for a Southeast Asian airline customer in a remarkably short period of time.

It might look a lot like the Stelia (previously Sogerma) Solstys, but CEO Ermanno de Vecchi tells Runway Girl Network the Italian company has improved on previous generations.

The key: a massive eighteen-inch screen for every passenger, plus a roomier seat pan area and the current set of business class bells and whistles — all in the relatively narrow Airbus A330 cross-section.

11:20: APEX award-winners Black Swan take flight

Although the name Black Swan conjures up images of doomed ballerinas and Natalie Portman sprouting giant black wings onstage, it turns out Black Swan CEO Steve King had something much different in mind when he chose the very distinctive name for his company.

“The name Black Swan actually comes from 16th century London,” says King. “When we all used to sit in pubs in London going: ‘You know, that’s about as likely a black swan.’ Because every swan was white, the queen took it on as the royal animal and it was inconceivable that there could be a black swan. And then a set of boats went out to Australia and Perth in the 16th century and when they stepped out of the boats … all of the sudden there were all these black swans everywhere and that whole saying went out the window. But we love it because it just shows that in a time of disruption and change if you have the right information you can see things a different way and can do things differently.”

Fresh off winning an APEX award on Monday night for Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation, the team from Black Swan sat down yesterday afternoon with RGN Live for an in-depth walk through of their very cool new solution.

10:44am: Airline catering employees, DACA recipients, fight for a living wage

10:00: Global Eagle and Time Inc. bring snackable IFE to the next level

If there was any doubt that fresh, snackable, multi-platform digital IFE was having a moment at this week’s APEX EXPO after Spafax announced plans to launch a new inflight TV series with Business Traveller magazine, Global Eagle’s announcement that it is partnering with Time Inc. to bring a host of original programing to airlines, cruise ship, and maritime audiences around the world under the newly-minted TIME Flies banner officially sealed the deal.

Global Eagle is launching TIME Flies worldwide with two very unique projects. The first is a series of short films from Time’s celebrated multimedia project 100 Photos: The Most Influential Images of All Time, and the second is the Emmy-nominated Time.com series A Year In Space, which chronicles NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s record-breaking journey aboard the International Space Station.

“The 100 Most Influential Images of All Time are vignettes about these extraordinary pictures that are in the Time Inc. library, including the gentleman who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen  Square, Cassius Clay standing over Sonny Liston after he knocked him out, Babe Ruth retiring, the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square after WWII,” says Global Eagle’s SVP of content distribution and purchasing, Jim Griffiths. “These are real goosebump pictures … every time you look at them you want to learn more and these videos deliver that story,”

Image: Time Inc.

“The clips are each about eight to fifteen minutes and this is why we love this relationship, they’re also not formatted to any one format so we have A Year in Space, which is essentially a traditional television series and then we have these snackable videos that are just really as good as it gets in terms of compelling programming,” adds Griffiths. “And from an airline or maritime perspective where you don’t have all day to sit down and you’re really just sort of filling in those slots as you’re traveling it’s great. It’s also terrific for our Content-To-Go platform, which, as you’re going to the airport or as you’re sitting in the lounge this is great content to really articulate and demonstrate how great our Content-To-Go is.”

In fact, Griffith says TIME Flies was practically tailor-made for Global Eagle’s Content-To-Go from the outset. “Content-To-Go is content that you are able to view prior to the flight as well as after the flight, and that was one of the key elements to the deal with Time Inc.,” says Griffiths. “When we sat down with them we said: listen we really think we could be a great partner and a great distributor for you but a key element to this has to be our ability to use this programming on our Content-To-Go platform and they were like: ‘Yes, we’ll do that!'”

For more information about about Global Eagle’s new partnership with Time Inc., check out our RGN Live chat with Griffiths below.

9:35: How Diehl and Lufthansa Technik fixed the problems with Airbus’ Space-Flex?

Flight attendants aren’t fans of Airbus’ Space-Flex combined galley-lavatory product. Neither are passengers. Diehl and Lufthansa Technik are working together to try to fix that, for the retrofit market at least, and with eyes on the Americas market — especially the growing numbers of teenage A320 family aircraft in the USA — the companies showed off their newest mockup to RGN.

Between the more efficient galley space and the improved lavatory facilities for passengers of reduced mobility, not to mention the fact that the lavs simply feel larger even when they’re not being used as a combined PRM provision, and indeed the fact that a flight attendant doesn’t have to sit with their back to the galley door, it’s a persuasive product offering.

9:00: G.U.E. Tech brings gender-neutral magic to inflight gaming

If you saw the towering unicorn cutout flanked by rainbow-colored unicorn balloons on the showroom  floor at the APEX EXPO this week, you’ve definitely walked past the G.U.E. Tech booth.

Looking to bring a playful sense of magic to the often overly-serious world of inflight gaming, G.U.E. Tech also offers up a number of popular video games that aren’t afraid to blur the lines between male and female gamers to create something entirely new and totally awesome.

And although there wasn’t time for any actual gameplay, RGN Live did manage to pin down G.U.E. Tech CEO Max Lingua and game tester Codi Carpenter for a quick, spirited discussion about the past, present, and gender neutral future of inflight gaming.

8:25: HAECO tests out new PED holder option at AIX Americas

If it’s an Aircraft Interiors Expo, it’s time for another personal entertainment device holder demo! HAECO vice president for marketing and strategy showed off the company’s latest thinking to Runway Girl Network — with some smart design making it universal, simple to certify and easy to maintain.

First off, the shape of the double-slot swing-down holder will accommodate everything from a small smartphone to an e-reader to a large iPad Pro, whether or not the seat in front is reclined. For certification, the release latch works with a pinch-up motion, so the head injury criterion is relatively unaffected. And for maintenance, the whole assembly — in the less shiny section below — is easy to swap out for repairs.

8:20: SkyLight’s AlloSky brings 2nd generation VR into the airline cabin

Although the concept of second generation VR technology might sound like something from a big summer blockbuster, SkyLights’ new AlloSky headset made virtual reality a stunningly-beautiful, fully-immersive PaxEx reality at the APEX EXPO this year.

Set to roll out on launch partner’s Air France, Joon by Air France, and Corsair, in the coming months, the AlloSky headset was definitely one of the most talked-about products at the EXPO. Despite a very busy schedule, SkyLights’ CEO David Dicko personally demo-ed the AlloSky headset for RGN Live yesterday afternoon.