While traveling to LA on Thursday, we took a connecting Delta flight from Salt Lake City over to LAX. On the plane there were these screens in the back of the seats. A veteran of Frontier and the DirectTV system they have on the plane, this was nothing new. However the screens activated and I saw something I found hilarious. This may be something that many may have seen, but this was definitely new to me. I took a picture with my Treo, forgive the mirrored reflection of me and my hand:
If you can’t make it out, it’s booting to Linux, which for some reason I find humorous.
After the system finally booted up it revealed not only a Dish Network TV interface, but also some other interactive options including steaming music and in-flight multi-player gaming. This was a potentially pretty cool system – potentially because this was dog slow and buggy like none other. The touch-screen interface was quite delayed and when I changed between menus it reverted to some static, watered-down display. It was almost like it was having video card troubles. After we tried to access a menu option it took a few minutes to launch whatever content we selected.
Bethany and I ended up playing in-flight poker with another passenger, except he was sitting right next to us. When you have three people playing Texas Hold-Em sitting next to each other, it takes the suspense out of the game. Nonetheless it occupied us for almost an hour and definitely made the flight seem shorter.
The system was definitely buggy, but there was definitely a lot of potential there. If they can iron out the interface and response issues (besides the fact that it rebooted 5 times during the flight) this could be something pretty cool for passengers.