September 19, 2018
Using technology to promote wellbeing in the air, Panasonic Avionics has developed a Wellness programme as part of its NEXT platform. Richard Williams reports
Identify the needs
Developed in conjunction with Panasonic Corporation in Japan, the Wellness programme aims to improve comfort, health and wellbeing inflight through a suite of products which includes premium seat lighting, active noise control and nanoe technology.
Seek expert advice
Two modules have been developed in collaboration with experts. Detalytics for example has a health advisory
app which can be integrated into the seat-back screen or used on PEDs. It can be tied to Panasonic’s Marketplace platform selling wellness amenities. Mimi audio, a specialist in advanced audio fidelity algorithms, uses its technology to personalise sound.
Andrew Mohr, head of innovation at Panasonic Avionics, explains: “Lighting affects our circadian rhythms and different colours and intensities can help set our mood for eating, sleeping or watching a movie. Getting this right can reduce jetlag and we can achieve it with LED at seat level, even in Economy, or personalise it through an airline app for First and Business.
Control the noise
“Active Noise Control is a headphone- less noise cancellation system, for Business and First Class passengers.
It involves tiny speakers and microphones embedded in the seating space that can reduce the ambient noise by 15 decibels.
Clean air focus
“The nanoe air cleansing system eliminates odours and allergens using a 30ml cartridge to expel tiny droplets of water around the passenger. The system is already established in luxury car brands and reduces airborne viruses and bacteria in the cabin.”
A new value stream
Mohr concludes: “The added advantage of these two technologies is that they add distinctive utility to airline apps, which are normally of limited use once you have boarded your flight. They also give the airlines hours of analytics on what passengers do onboard. What business would not kill to put a digital channel in front of its customers for multiple hours? The key to that is to add value beyond traditional inflight entertainment. With our Wellness offering we can bring new value streams to the passenger experience.”
• Mimi technology uses algorithms to adjust onboard sound to suit each passenger’s individual hearing and headphones. Parameters can be set and captured by apps to be applied on each journey.
• The launch client for the Wellness programme is scheduled to go live in 2019-20.
• Detalytics uses AI to recommend when passengers should drink, eat or rest.