A month ago, United Airlines deployed 11,000 iPads to pilots. Today, Qantas Airlines has announced that it will begin offering iPads on a trial basis to its passengers for in-flight entertainment. Australian Business Traveller reports that the pilot program will take place over a six-week period from the end of October to early December. The trial run will be limited to a single aircraft, a 254-seat Boeing 767-300.
Passengers on board will be given an iPad 2 for in-flight entertainment purposes. A central server on the aircraft will use Wi-Fi to stream content to the iPads. In addition, each iPad will offer a custom interface based on a special Q Streamingapplication that will let users stream content from one of five wireless access points. In fact, the app is based on Lufthansas’ BoardConnect technology, and is also being used by Virgin America.
Qantas Airlines will also allow passengers that bring their own iPad on board to access the entertainment via a free Q Streaming application. The system will also work with Android tablets (they exist!?), smartphones, and notebooks. Customers bringing their own Wi-Fi enabled devices will be able to download videos and watch them up to 24 hours after leaving the aircraft.
The fact that airlines are choosing a closed OS over an “OPEN” one just boggles my mind. Not to mention, it lacks Flash and a fancy “Tegra 2 chipset” too. Oh yes, and remember that iPads are just for content consumption.