December 8 2021  |  Airline & Terminal News

JAL pilots software company for inflight meal ordering

By Rick Lundstrom

Ditto, creators of software infrastructure that enables mobile devices to synchronize data in real-time even without internet connectivity announced today Japan Airlines, has successfully completed an in-flight meal ordering application pilot.

The Ditto-powered application for the first time allowed JAL crew to process passenger orders and communicate using mobile devices without an Internet connection. Ditto is a real-time database which allows information to be stored and transmitted across multiple server locations all the way to a mesh of edge devices in difficult-to-connect environments.

“Unreliable Internet connectivity during ground operations and inside the aircraft means applications which require consistent connectivity to sync, like task management and meal ordering, can’t function in or around the plane,” said a release from Ditto. “Ditto eliminates this problem by enabling peer-to-peer synchronization, allowing devices to communicate and sync data directly with other devices in real time.”

The successful pilot opens the door for airlines to create digital experiences using only the mobile devices already on the aircraft, such as tablets and mobile phones. This pilot complements JAL’s existing inflight priorities of contactless anti-COVID service, personalization, and innovation.

“JAL is the leading air carrier for good reasons: a passion for passenger experience, dedication to efficiency, and for ensuring their operations run smoothly around the clock. They absolutely set the tone for the rest of the industry,” said Adam Fish, CEO and co-founder of Ditto. “The problem with a lack of real-time synchronization is that it inhibits new technologies from working properly. Ditto solves this with an elegant solution.”

The meal ordering application is contactless, keeping passengers and crew from having to share devices by letting passengers order meals from their own phones. The crew were able to use Apple iPads to reliably trace passenger orders which were synced in real-time throughout the duration of the flight. Ditto also enables ground crews to more efficiently conduct maintenance activities, leading to faster turnaround times and a higher on-time flight performance.

Ditto manages the complexity of using multiple network transports such as Bluetooth, P2P Wi-Fi and LANs to find and connect with other devices, automatically syncing any and all changes.

The company’s technology has attracted leaders across many industries, including restaurant point-of-sale, defense, emergency work, retail, hospitality, entertainment, and aviation where seamless connectivity and real-time data sharing is essential.

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