Panasonic Avionics Corp. has unveiled a new inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) platform called NEXT, which will launch on the Boeing 777X.

Speaking to ATW at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Panasonic Avionics senior director corporate sales and marketing Jon Norris said NEXT has been designed as a flexible platform to keep pace with rapidly evolving IFEC technologies.

“The NEXT platform is designed to help airlines overcome key challenges by transforming typically rigid entertainment systems into a flexible IFEC platform,” Panasonic said.

NEXT is an IFE, connectivity and consumer technology platform, which supports new technologies including 4K screens, Light ID and Bluetooth. In conjunction with Panasonic’s other products, NEXT will offer up to 250 megabytes per second of connectivity.

Norris said NEXT’s modular and scalable design will extend its lifecycle, maximizing airline investment. “This is not technology for technology’s sake; we are focused on business outcomes,” he said.

The system has already triggered “great interest” from potential airline customers, Norris said, who are struggling to keep up with ever-increasing passenger expectations based on their experience of smart phone and tablets.

“We have very active interest and a number of ongoing campaigns, which is quite early for where we are at in the 777X cycle,” Norris said.

The new platform will be fully integrated throughout the aircraft, so that airlines can trial, add, extend and remove new technologies more easily. This includes e-commerce options and personalized passenger services, such as Panasonic’s companion app and ZeroTouch service.

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Victoria Moores