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For years, passengers have been used to the standard seat-back entertainment screen on flights. Whether operated by touchscreen or with a remote, the concept has remained more or less the same. That is, until some airlines have taken to choosing to not have any IFE screens altogether, begging the question if IFE screens are going extinct.
With the future of IFE screens still largely unknown, Gogo, the in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment company, is introducing a new product to add to the equation. Called Gogo Vision Touch, this new concept consists of a commercial-grade tablet that’s mounted on the back of the seat. The tablet is equipped with Gogo’s Wi-Fi, allowing passengers to stream the content they want to watch directly to the tablet.
What makes the Gogo Vision Touch different is that it’s being advertised as a less complex alternative to traditional IFE systems. Whereas the old systems were clunky and hard to replace or update without taking apart the aircraft, Gogo Vision Touch allows the carrier to pop any individual tablet out of the seat for updates or repairs. Gogo’s calling the tablets a lighter-weight, modular and inexpensive model for airlines to adopt for an in-flight entertainment alternative.
While Gogo just announced the new product on Tuesday, the company said it’s already working with Delta and Bombardier to deploy the Vision Touch system on Delta’s upcoming C Series. Delta plans to take delivery of its new C Series aircraft in 2018.
The Vision Touch’s tablet-sized screen could made sense for airlines, as Gogo says it’s an inexpensive option that gives passengers the ability to stream what they want. As more and more airlines decide to do away with traditional systems, such as American on its new 737s, the streaming option via seat-back tablets could be a more appealing option for airlines.
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