Android powered In-Flight Entertainment System on the Boeing-787 Dreamliner
Qatar Airways is the first to adopt the Boeing 787-200/800 Dreamliner which has 22 business class sears and another 232 economy class seats, now, for an Airplane enthusiast, there are many aspects of the Boeing 787 to be excited about such as the all new noise-reducing technology Boeing used in the jet engine, all the way down to the sleek new aerodynamic design it was built upon.
For us smartphone enthusiasts, the coolest thing by far about the plane is that its IFEC (In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity) system Thales Avant Touch Passenger Media Unit (TMPU) is actually powered by Google’s Android!
The TPMU’s come in 2 display sizes, 17.3” for the Business Class and 10.1” for the Economy Class, They are integrated at the back of each seat, every unit comes iwth a STMicro airline grade dual-core ARM processors with 1 GB RAM and 256GB SSD (Solid State Drive).
For the Geek, the Central Server comes with a 32 Core Processor with 128GB RAM and 4TB SSD storage.
If we sum up these figures, we get a in-flight entertainment system consisting of more than 250+ ARM dual core processors(500+ cores), 254GB of RAM and 63.5TB of SSD storage. That’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Now, comes the software part, simple it will run Android 2.3/3.0 which will be heavily customized. The tablets would have access to video, audio, games and eMagazines, all in glorious high definition.
The plane also supports WiFi and 3G/HSPA+ GSM connectivity, enabling passengers to freely connect to the internet and interact with their friends and family while flying 38,000 feet in the air.
The tablets will be able to connect to 3G-GSM, presumably via a GSM microcell, which bounces phone calls and data off a satellite and back to earth. In addition to accessing the Internet, passengers will be able to make calls from the airplane on their regular phones.
On certain flights, passengers will also have access to a 3.8″, full-featured Android handheld device meant to be used along with the Android Tablet attached to the seat.
Boeing has only built fourteen of these 787 Dreamliners, but has orders for a total of 859, and these entertainment systems will be inside each and every one of them. In addition to being awesome, the TopSeries Avant tablets are 80% lighter than traditional in-flight entertainment systems. That comes down to a fuel economy improvement of .8% or – assuming two flights per day — a savings of 528 gallons of jet fuel. A total of $1.48 million will be saved every year just from the additions of these tablets.
This leaves only one question: when will the Android development community release a root method for the in-flight entertainment system?