Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) unveils its new Arc Inflight Map Platform a revolutionary 3D inflight map application and service for its NEXT and X Series inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems.
Arc brings a wide range of innovative new features to the traditional inflight map application, while expanding that concept into a fully integrated experience within the IFEC system, in particular by integrating it with new services from Panasonic including Loyalty (Panasonic’s personalization services), Marketplace (for onboard e-commerce), Insights (for analytics), all backed by its NEXT Cloud infrastructure.
The technology is inspired by the latest design thinking of contemporary UX and high-definition gaming experiences, and enables airlines to leverage the high viewership of moving maps inflight. Arc will be available across all inflight displays including seatback, overhead, handset, and within mobile apps and web portals.
Gaston Sandoval, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, says: “Moving maps have long been one of the most popular features of any inflight entertainment system but we believe the opportunities to expand the basic map concept, and revolutionize its role in the overall inflight experience, are greatly underleveraged.
“By re-imagining the map experience based on its full potential, and integrating it as a core service of our NEXT and X Series IFEC systems, we can greatly elevate the passenger experience and the value of maps for our airline customers.
“Arc will offer everything that our airline customers have come to expect in a contemporary map application with the addition of many innovative features and tools, made possible only through our ‘Map as a Service’ approach. We believe this is one of the most exciting advances ever for inflight maps.”
Highlights of the Arc Inflight Map Platform include:
- The industry’s first personalized maps capability – by integrating the map with Panasonic’s award-winning Loyalty personalization services, passengers can set up personalized map profiles and preferences that will appear whenever they log into the IFEC system.
- New Map as a Service (MaaS) technology – including APIs that enable airlines and third parties to develop applications utilizing the Arc map engine and feature set, or to add their own content and data layers to the Arc map displays.
- Wide range of map styles – from stunning satellite-based images to street views, to new and unique data visualizations.
- Premium Destination and Point-of-Interest Content – through Panasonic’s exclusive relationship with the influencer-driven discovery platform provider Raleigh & Drake, and additional partners (soon to be announced).
- New monetization opportunities for airlines – through integration with Panasonic’s own Marketplace e-commerce platform. Inflight sales can be directly tied to real-time flight events and status.
- Integration with airline advertising and promotions – including Panasonic’s own OneMedia advertising platform. The high viewership of maps can be fully leveraged for its targeted advertising and promotional potential.
- Omni-channel capability – Arc is available for all inflight displays: seatback, overhead, handset, and within mobile apps and web portals. All map instances can dynamically utilize single data or multiple data sets, depending on their mission and audience.
- Native 4K design – optimized for NEXT’s stunning 4K displays, and for ultra-definition mobile devices.
- Arc Studio – an online tool and gallery service where airlines can design their own map experience, and be regularly provided with exciting new features and updated map data. Updates will range from regular maintenance data (time zone offsets, place names, borders, etc) to new features and design templates, which can all be dispatched to airline fleets utilizing NEXT Cloud.
- Extensive configuration capabilities – made available to airlines through web-based Arc tools, and easily updatable utilizing NEXT Cloud.
- Arc Analytics – using Panasonic’s Insights analytics services, provides the ability to track map usage, allowing for analysis and optimization of map data based on actual passenger interaction. These analytics can be used to enhance each airline’s map database set, and to enable and verify advertising and promotional impressions.
A number of new and unique features on the Arc have been developed in collaboration with FlightAware. Their market-leading services for global flight tracking will be integrated in the Arc platform to provide passengers with new ways to see air travel and the globe, including an extensive airline fleet view during their entire journey. The partnership will further explore new features based on FlightAware’s state-of-the-art predictive technology, giving passengers precise runway and gate arrival times as well as proactive information about connecting flight delays.
Matt Davis, Vice President of Sales at FlightAware, says: “We’ve been extremely impressed by the level of innovation that Panasonic Avionics is bringing to inflight moving maps, and are thrilled to contribute our expertise in flight tracking and provide cutting edge predictive technology to the feature set of Arc.
“We found Panasonic to be incredibly collaborative and open to new ideas, and we’re honoured to work with them to enhance the experience of airline passengers worldwide. We are also grateful for their leadership as we work to understand the unique requirements of airborne map services.”
Arc has been designed and developed by Panasonic’s digital studio, Tactel AB, based in Malmö, Sweden. Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel is an award-winning UX and development firm, responsible for creating industry-leading apps and services in Scandinavia.