April 10 2019  |  Inflight Entertainment

Panasonic announces new moving map platform

By Rick Lundstrom

Panasonic's Arc map platform is aimed at enhancing personalization, analytics and e-commerce

Panasonic Avionics took another step to fill out is portfolio of products and services in IFE and connectivity with last week’s unveiling of its Arc Inflight Map Platform.

The three-dimensional inflight map application and service is part of the company’s NEXT and X Series inflight entertainment and connectivity systems. Panasonic is now taking orders for Arc, with deliveries planned for the first quarter of 2020.

Arc has been designed and developed by Panasonic’s digital studio,Tactel AB, in Malmö, Sweden. Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel is a UX and development firm, responsible for creating apps and services in Scandinavia.

With Arc, Panasonic plans to bring a wide range of features to the traditional inflight map application, while expanding that concept into a fully integrated experience within the IFEC system. The company will integrate Arc with new services from Panasonic including Loyalty (personalization services), Marketplace (onboard e-commerce), Insights (analytics), all backed by its NEXT Cloud infrastructure.

“The technology is inspired by the latest design thinking of contemporary UX and high-definition gaming experiences, and enables airlines to leverage the high viewership of moving maps inflight,” said a release from Panasonic. “Arc will be available across all inflight displays including seatback, overhead, handset, and within mobile apps and web portals.”

“Moving maps have long been one of the most popular features of any inflight entertainment system but we believe the opportunities to expand the basic map concept, and revolutionize its role in the overall inflight experience, are greatly underleveraged,” said Gaston Sandoval, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing.

Features of the Arc Inflight Map Platform include:

  • The industry’s first personalized maps capability - by integrating the map with Panasonic’s Loyalty personalization services, passengers can set up personalized map profiles and preferences that will appear whenever they log into the IFEC system.
  • Map as a Service (MaaS) technology - including APIs that enable airlines and third parties to develop applications utilizing the Arc map engine and feature set, or to add their own content and data layers to the Arc map displays.
  • A wide range of map styles – from satellite-based images to street views, to new data visualizations.
  • Premium destination and point-of-Interest content - through Panasonic’s exclusive relationship with the influencer-driven discovery platform provider Raleigh & Drake, and additional partners that will be later announced.
  • New monetization opportunities for airlines - through integration with Panasonic’s Marketplace e-commerce platform. Inflight sales can be directly tied to real-time flight events and status.
  • Integration with airline advertising and promotions- including Panasonic’s OneMedia advertising platform. The high viewership of maps can be fully leveraged for its targeted advertising and promotional potential.
  • Omni-channel capability- Arc will be available for all inflight displays: seatback, overhead, handset, and within mobile apps and web portals. All map instances can dynamically utilize single data or multiple data sets, depending on their mission and audience.
  • Native 4K design - optimized for NEXT’s 4K displays, and for ultra-definition mobile devices.
  • Arc Studio – an online tool and gallery service where airlines can design their own map experience, and be regularly provided with exciting new features and updated map data. Updates will range from regular maintenance data (time zone offsets, place names, borders, etc) to new features and design templates, which can all be dispatched to airline fleets utilizing NEXT Cloud.
  • Extensive configuration capabilities - made available to airlines through web-based Arc tools, and updatable utilizing NEXT Cloud.
  • Arc Analytics– using Panasonic’s Insights analytics services, provides the ability to track map usage, allowing for analysis and optimization of map data based on actual passenger interaction. The analytics can be used to enhance each airline’s map database set, and to enable and verify advertising and promotional impressions.

A number of new and unique features on the Arc have been developed in collaboration with FlightAware. The two companies will further explore new features based on FlightAware’s predictive technology, giving passengers precise runway and gate arrival times as well as proactive information about connecting flight delays.

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