June 26 2024  |  Inflight Entertainment

FlightPath3D focuses on the journey

By Robynne Trueman

Cathay Pacific and FlightPath3D preview My Journey at AIX 2024

FlightPath3D tells PAX Tech that it saw an enthusiastic response from airline customers to its latest product reveals at AIX 2024.

The company focused on inclusive journeys with maps for every traveller, aiming to meet the needs of various demographics including young passengers and people with accessibility needs.

Duncan Jackson, President, FlightPath3D, also tells PAX Tech that the company is making the inflight experience smart with Luci, an AI inflight companion that provides information about the journey and possibilities upon arrival at the destination. FlightPath3D is also redefining IFE through its partnership with Cathay Pacific, making the flight map the backdrop of the IFE experience.

Maps for every traveller

FlightPath3D's inflight Accessibility Map

FlightPath3D’s inflight map is already flying on 80 airlines, many of which Jackson says he met with at AIX 2024. But he notes that the response to the latest inclusive flight map features on the company’s Accessibility Map was exceedingly positive.

The Accessibility Map is high contrast with text and fonts that are ADA-compliant. The company sought to simplify the map, abstracting some of the zoom levels to ensure easy navigation for the partially sighted.

The map also leverages a feed, from AI-enabled assistant Luci, that provides details about significant attractions below the passenger’s specific flight path. It lists details such as when the passenger can expect to land, the top Instagram locations at the final destination and more. These features are not just visible on screen but are delivered to the passenger via an audio feed so visually impaired passengers can receive these data points.

FlightPath3D's Kids Map

FlightPath3D has introduced new features for its Kids’ Map to better engage young passengers in a cartoon-like world with icons and gamification features. The map for young passengers is an optional layer, built into the core FlightPath3D platform. Airlines can deploy it with ease across the fleet without reconfiguration or software changes.

The current Kids’ Map is a junior-sized version of FlightPath3D’s core 3D Flight Tracker. However, the updated Kids’ Map introduces a gamified experience to help children explore the world inflight while doubling as a marketing tool for carriers.

The map aims to encourage children to learn about the destinations along the flight route, offering memory games and educational tasks. But, Jackson also notes it provides an excellent opportunity for airlines to integrate sponsored content into the IFE experience. This can be achieved by leveraging partner assets in tiles or images for sponsorship tie-ins.

“Our goal at FlightPath3D is to blend data with entertainment and discovery to keep every flying passenger engaged,” explains Jackson. “The Kids Map is an extension of this, where we aim to ignite a lifelong passion for travel in young flyers by making geography fun and interactive in a format kids love.”

Kids will learn about the various destinations the airline serves during their flight through activities such as solving a jigsaw puzzle or playing a memory game based on a city’s theme. Milestone badges are awarded throughout the journey to help kids track their progress.

Meet Luci

Luci provides inflight information to passengers 

In addition to making the flight map more inclusive, FlightPath3D is also focusing on making the 3D map more intelligent. This is achieved through the AI assistant, Luci. Luci stands for Location-based Utility that is Contextual and Intelligent.

Already flying on 500 aircraft, Luci considers the details of aircraft location, destination and the airline’s flight schedules to deliver tailored, contextually relevant to each passenger. Luci is accessible in the bottom left hand corner of the flight map screen, where there is a conversation about where the passenger is travelling to, details about what they can do on arrival and flight progress updates. As Jackson explains, it means the passenger does not have to go into the flight information page anymore, but rather receives key information and suggestions to elevate the overall journey from Luci.

The system provides opportunities for airlines to integrate loyalty offers and advertising that target the passenger and their specific interests, Jackson says. The AI learns about a traveller’s preferences through their loyalty profile, offering them more useful information and insights that are more likely to be seen as valuable.

“We are pretty excited about putting loyalty opposite to this,” Jackson says. “It's a way to have a conversation with the passenger, putting advertising in front of them while delivering useful information. I am forecasting this to be on 2000 aircraft by the end of next year. That would put us at the largest intelligent fleet application.”

Introducing My Journey on Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific and FlightPath3D's "My Journey" IFE experience

Taking the flight map beyond its traditional parameters, FlightPath3D has partnered with Cathay Pacific to integrate the map with the IFE system, providing passengers with a personalized flight path preview.

“You don't really know whether you're in or out of the map. It's just part of the journey experience,” Jackson explains.

Cathay Pacific is calling the integration “My Journey,” using FlightPath3D’s API and widgets to bring the experience to life.

"We are incredibly proud that Cathay Pacific leveraged our API toolkit and widgets to reinvent the inflight experience with this integrated GUI," said Boris Veksler, Chief Executive Officer of FlightPath3D, in the company’s June 18 press release. “By providing our cutting-edge technology, we have seen our vision come to life in a uniquely configured, intuitive interface. It's a milestone in our commitment to reshaping how passengers interact with their journey."

In this system, the map becomes the backdrop to the inflight entertainment experience rather than a separate feature. From the IFE home screen, passengers can see the journey information, when they will be served food and beverage inflight, quick links to call a flight attendant and more. It provides a warm welcome to the passenger, offering animated route previews and a game-like tour of the flight. Comparable to watching a movie trailer, the My Journey experience is designed to increase passenger engagement and anticipation.

The system is currently flying on Cathay Pacific’s A350 fleet and will be expanded to the airline’s 777s and A321 aircraft.

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