updated 01:50 pm EDT, Mon September 19, 2011
Looking to stream media to passenger's iPads also
Qantas Airlines will begin offering iPads on a trial basis to its passengers for in-flight entertainment. The airline will be offering the devices to all 254 passengers on the plane. It will conduct the experiment on a single Boeing 767-300 aircraft flying between Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
A central server on the aircraft will use Wi-Fi to stream content to the iPads. Each device will be be loaded with 'Q Streaming' a special app which acts as the front-end for on demand content. The media will be broadcast from one of five wireless access points. The app is based on Lufthansas' BoardConnect technology, and is also being used by Virgin America.
Qantas' Executive Manager for Customer Experience, Alison Webster, noted that the iPad test is primarily a test of Wi-Fi and that other devices would be allowed on the network.
The six-week trial will begin at the end of October and run through mid-December. While every passenger will find an iPad 2 in their seat pocket, business class flyers will also be given a flexible stand, which can be used on the fold-down meal tray. Towards the end of the trial, Qantas plans to allow passengers to download the Q Streaming app and watch the streamed content on their own iPads. [via Australian Business Traveller]