Boeing’s long-delayed 787 Dreamliner has finally finished flight testing and is ready for delivery. Airlines looking to add the 787 to their fleets will benefit from the plane’s advanced technology, which makes it far more efficient than comparable aircraft.
Passengers will also benefit from technology inside the 787’s cabin. According to Mark Larson, technical manager at Boeing’s Dreamliner Gallery, all 787s now in production will be fitted with Android-based servers and touchscreens. Google’s Android operating system will be used to provide music, video and even airline-specific apps for the all-new 787.
Every seat in the Dreamliner, from economy seats to first-class suites, will be equipped with an Android-enabled panel built by Panasonic. Many will be touchscreens, but Larson says that “a lot of the larger screens (for business and first class) will be non-touch because you can’t reach them, although they’ve also got a prototype of gesturing.”
The new touchscreen panels will have a wider viewing angle than today’s screens, and are less reflective of ambient light.
Boeing already has 820 firm orders for the 787, which cost an average $210 million each. With orders adding up, the use of Android in the Dreamliner will help make Google a leader in-flight entertainment systems. While customers have the ability to customize nearly every detail of the 787, they will not be able to opt for competing operating systems from Apple, Microsoft, or others.
For tech-laden travelers, the new 787 will also offer laptop power sockets and USB ports even for economy seats.
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