(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Baggage Handler Invents New In-Flight Entertainment System

from the there's-the-hook dept

In a story with a hook any PR person must drool over, a college drop-out, part-time baggage handler seems to have invented an innovative in-flight entertainment system. The article leaves out way too many details about the system itself, but it appears to be a small, handheld system that has quite a bit of memory. It can store 30 full-length movies along with "hours of digital music, maps, cartoons, sitcoms, language courses and travel promotions." I'm a bit confused if that's an either/or proposition. If you can store 30 hours of movies and another 10 hours of sitcoms, couldn't you store 40 hours of movies (or 40 hours of sitcoms?). The big difference from other in-flight entertainment systems, clearly, is that these don't have to be installed. They can just be handed out. The company he founded to build the device has already signed deals with some entertainment companies to include their content - though, they had to jump through a few hurdles. Part of the solution is that the device uses a proprietary battery that only last 6 hours - so anyone stealing the device isn't likely to be able to use it much longer. Still, I imagine with such a device "shrinkage" is going to be a problem. Users may not know that it won't work after six hours, and even if they do, they may just end up taking the device anyway. Furthermore, by having it as a device, and not protected in the seat, there's a much greater chance of damage. That said, it does sound like a neat device that could be cool to have on some flights. The company is also working on other in-flight technologies, such as a device a flight attendant can use to charge credit cards. Meanwhile, the guy is still employed (though, on a leave of absence) as a baggage-handler for Alaska Airlines.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    neocon-mouse, Sep 10th, 2003 @ 6:00am


    so how is this different to the lcd in the back of the seat as done by BA currently. perhaps theres more choice, but i imagine BA could easily replace there vhs video's ? with multiple dvd players, even a few small lan servers for a bit of lan action gaming !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Chris, Sep 10th, 2003 @ 8:06am

    No Subject Given

    The shrinkage problem is easy to overcome. They will just place a $500 pre-authorization hold on the customers credit card. If the gadget vanishes, so does $500 of the customers credit limit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2003 @ 9:25am

    No Subject Given

    GPS in the units anyone ?
    No worries about stolen units.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    mhh5, Sep 10th, 2003 @ 9:59am


    GPS sounds a little too extreme. Just attach anti-shoplifting tags to the device, and grab people when they beep as they're deboarding.

    Or they could just collect the IDs from the people who they handed the devices out to. Steal the device -- they keep your driver's license....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2003 @ 1:56pm

    Re: uh...

    yeah and the first time red ink explodes on me because some asswad tries to walk off the plane with the toy I'm going to sue for every ( pardon the pun ) red cent I can get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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