April 12 2017  |  Inflight Entertainment

Panasonic plans NEXT brand platform for launch in 2020

By Rick Lundstrom

Panasonic Avionics Corporation took the media through an overview of its NEXTTM inflight entertainment and communications platform on the opening day of this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo.

NEXT is designed transform what the company says is typically rigid entertainment systems into a flexible IFEC platform that is modular and scalable and blends in inflight entertainment technology, connectivity services, and consumer technologies. The approach would help airlines maximize their investment by extending the lifespan of the IFEC platform. Panasonic plans to launch the NEXT platform in 2020 on the 777x, though the company said a few elements, among them the 4K screens are currently available. NEXT will be available for wide-body and narrow-body airframes.

“A key differentiator with the NEXT platform is its ability to help airlines maximize their investment by keeping IFEC perpetually and contextually relevant,” said a release from Panasonic. “It blends the latest advances in consumer technology, including 4K screens, Light ID, Bluetooth, and much more, backed by an intuitive interface that is simple for all passengers to use.”

Panasonic’s integrated system value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships are part of NEXT. It includes the second generation global connectivity network which, when coupled with its new modem technology, provides up to 250 megabytes per second of connectivity to an aircraft.

The NEXT platform and Panasonic’s global, integrated ecosystem will be designed to create an “Internet of Me” personalized experience for passengers. It will integrate with the company’s companion app technology and Panasonic’s ZeroTouch™ service to add previewing of content and other amenities on their flights, creation of playlists that will transfer from one aircraft to another, and content on demand experiences.  

"Airlines are far more becoming digital platforms in the sky," said Jon Norris, Senior Director Corporate Sales and Marketing at Panasonic.  

The NEXT platform also incorporates Panasonic Integrated Marketing Services (PIMS) - an advanced global marketing platform. PIMS delivers highly targeted, high value marketing services to passengers, which will keep passengers immersed and engaged in destination services, retail and other onboard applications while delivering increased revenue opportunities to airlines and their partners.

“The value of the NEXT platform is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “Our global connectivity network, weather services, and maintenance organization are all key examples of how our services and products have evolved into an integrated ecosystem that will exponentially increase the value the NEXT platform delivers to airlines and their passengers.”   

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