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Connected aircraft with smart cabin and IoT services
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The Future of Aviation - From IoT to Personalized Services

Today's passengers expect seamless connectivity, choice, and flexibility with added personalization in everything they do. Be it the food they eat or movies and TV shows they watch. The same is true when they travel - they expect airlines to offer the same choice and flexibility.
Traditionally, this has been hard to achieve in the aerospace industry as it’s notorious for strict regulations and long certification cycles. Even non-safety critical software has to go through the rigorous DO-178C certification process. At the same time, best practices in the software industry have already given us the tools and know-how that can help us solve these challenges - enter Axinom IFS.
Axinom IFS includes all the components required to centrally manage own or third-party digital services on-ground and on-board. It opens up the tightly regulated digital services in aerospace to innovative applications and on-board services. It simplifies and unites the various digital passenger, cockpit, cabin, and crew services and systems.
To ensure true isolation, all applications and services are encapsulated in separate Docker containers. This enables digital services and UMS (user-modifiable software) to operate without the hassle of certifications.
Of the many possible use cases for IFS, the one that stands out is smart cabin services enabled by the different sensors and other onboard IoT devices.

“Axinom IFS opens up the tightly regulated digital services in aerospace to innovative applications and on-board services.”

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Smart Cabin Services and Onboard IoT

Smart aircraft cabin with connected crew, services, shop, wireless seatback entertainment, live maps
Smart connected passinger aircraft cabin
When we’re talking about smart cabin services and IoT sensors, we’re talking about things like connected seats with sensors that tell the crew if the seat is occupied, is the seatbelt fastened and the tray in the upright position? The same data can be used for better seat planning, mapping, and up-selling opportunities.
Same with connected overhead bins. Knowing which bins are full and which have room leads to speedier and more efficient passenger boarding experience. This all translates to less time spent on the ground and more time flying.
Destination services are another example. Think pre-booking hotels, tours, drivers, but also itinerary planning with travel guides, maps and more all done while from the wireless seatback device.
Smart cabins empower flight attendants to have a higher level of knowledge and control over what’s happening onboard an aircraft while airlines can reap greater operational efficiency through predictive maintenance, waste avoidance, and better crew management.
Apart from new functionality enabled by sensors and other IoT devices, there are a host of things that the IFS can augment and make better. With one novel use case being the IFEC experience.

A Truly Wireless Seatback IFE

Seatback screen streaming entertainment content via on-board WiFi infrastructure
Wireless seatback entertainment screen
Traditionally, seatback screens require a lot of extra hardware and kilometers of bulky wire harnesses to make it work. Not the case with Axinom Wireless Seatback (WSB). It uses tablet devices and a single, and often already existing, wireless infrastructure onboard aircraft. The tablets are embedded into the backside of passenger seats much the same way that traditional IFE screens are.
Using Wi-Fi simplifies the IFE system and eliminates the need for heavy and complex wire harness. With the removal of unnecessary seatback wiring, an early adopter of the system has realized substantial weight savings, and lower maintenance costs.
Stefanie Schuster, Chief Commercial Officer, Axinom adds that Wireless seatback IFEC solutions give freedom and flexibility to operators for choosing software and hardware components that fit their needs and allow them to easily support passenger devices with the same setup. We specialize in the software and are happy to see how the industry is taking up those new opportunities while defining their next-generation systems.”

“Wireless seatback IFEC solutions give freedom and flexibility to operators for choosing software and hardware components that fit their needs”

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Relying on any one technology, like Wi-Fi, does come with inherent limitations of that technology. After all, an aircraft full of passengers streaming movies all at the same time will put a large load on the Wi-Fi network. To combat this, smart content pre-positioning is used. This means that the most popular and liked content is stored in whole or in parts on the limited onboard storage of tablet devices. This ensures a seamless experience for passengers.
For IFS, wireless seatback IFEC is just another service running along with many others. A host of other applications, also hosted as services, can be integrated with the IFE system to create a wholesome and rich experience. Applications such as e-commerce, destination services, moving maps, live TV, captive portals, advertising and more open up limitless possibilities for personalization.
All services have their own Docker container and thus are isolated from each other. When everything is run in isolation, the risk of apps and services interfering with each other is considerably reduced.
Wireless seatback, connected overhead bins, and connected seats are a small selection of use cases of Axinom IFS. There are a plethora of new innovative apps, services, and solutions that IFS opens up.
The future of aviation is hyper-personalization powered by data and pro-active services that offer you content and services that you’re likely to be interested in at the exact moment you need them. All this puts extra strain on the systems running in the background both on-ground and in the air. Axinom IFS is built with reliability and scalability in mind.
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