The government is finally going to announce WiFi based Internet connections on flights, meeting a longstanding demand of both airlines and passengers, reported an English newspaper today.
A senior civil aviation ministry official said his ministry has approached the department of telecommunications (DoT) with the proposal and will make a formal announcement soon. “The DoT has already said (informally) the proposal is possible to implement,” quoted Economic Times.
DoT allots spectrum, or airwaves, capacity to operators to provide telecom and broadband services. In India, only foreign airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines offer Internet connectivity on international flights.
Like the use of mobile phones onboard even in flight mode, Wi-Fi and other technologies require regulatory clearances. Airlines typically provide Wi-Fi services by installing on board planes a server that hooks up with a ground-based mobile broadband network or links to satellites.
The number of commercial airplanes globally with Wi-Fi, cell service or both is expected to more than triple over the next 10 years to 14,000, with Asia spawning most of the growth, according to IHS, a research firm.
For airlines, desperate for new sources of revenue because of their wafer-thin margins, Wi-Fi will be a possibly lucrative service to sell. But globally, the service hasn’t been a huge money spinner for airlines because equipping fleets with Wi-Fi, especially via satellites, is costly and few carriers have found a profitable way to cover costs.
National carrier Air India on Tuesday shut its national capital-based headquarters, Airlines House, after an employee was tested Covid-19 positive. Accordingly, the building will be shut for two days for sanitisation work.
Under the safety protocols, work places of those employees who have tested positive required to be shut and sanitised to prevent the spread of the virus. The test report of the employee had come out last night.
“One of the employees attending office at Airlines House has tested positive for covid 19,” the airline said in a statement. “As Air India accords top priority to safety and wellbeing of its employees, the building will be closed for two days for sanitisation, adhering to protocol. All support is being extended to the employee concerned”.
In an unrelated development, five pilots of the airline, who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus, have now tested negative for the infection.
The new results were obtained after a re-test was conducted on the positive cases under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the airline. The pilots had tested coronavirus positive when 77 pilots of the airline were tested on a priority basis on Saturday.
All the five pilots didn’t have any symptoms and would be home-quarantined in Mumbai, people in the know said. These pilots operated Boeing 787 Dreamliners aircraft, and were tested to be deployed for duty under the Vande Bharat Mission to ferry back Indians stranded abroad.
The national carrier has also been engaged in transport of essential medical supplies amid the pandemic. Starting May 7, Air India has been engaged in one of the largest rescue operations in the world, whereby 64 flights would bring back over 14,000 people stranded in 12 countries in 7 days.
Many Indians have already arrived in several cities under the Mission. (IANS)
Zebronics on Friday launched a new home automation smart camera that comes with WiFi, pan, tilt, digital zoom and AI priced at Rs 3,599.
“Surveillance in and around your premises is a must these days, but now with home automation camera monitoring what is happening inside your house is fairly accessible with a touch on your phone. We feel that our journey into home automation camera is just the beginning, there is a lot more to come in our home automation range,” Sandeep Doshi, Director, Zebronics said in a statement.
The camera comes with connectivity for LAN/WiFi/Hotspot and has a Micro SD card slot that supports up to 512 GB of memory for capturing/recording your data. The camera can be wall-mounted or used on a tabletop as well.
According to the company, one can download the MIPC app available on the Play Store or App Store. It helps to set up home automation camera with ease and comes along with features like changing the camera angle, setting up the alarm, motion tracking and more.
The camera comes with a unique feature called motion detection in case of any movement it would raise the alarm and send a notification to the users phone so that one can have a quick monitor/scan of their home.
This home automation camera can also double as a baby monitor camera since it comes with a 350-degree rotating feature that can pan, 100-degree tilt and digital zoom at the object remotely through the smartphone app.
It also comes with Smart H.264 video compression which saves space while recording.
International carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines did a recent survey to figure our how travellers are changing the way they search, book and travel. From booking with the aid of voice technology and sustainable alternatives such as rail services, to facial recognition technology at security its an ever changing world of travel out there.
The surveys shows that half of Gen Z and millennials consider how ‘Instagrammable’ their destination will be when booking. How many “likes” will it generate? The guarantee of taking beautiful holiday snaps is a prerequisite for 25.8 percent of them. The photos have to be authentic and taken by them personally.
Travellers increasingly use voice technology to navigate
Many people spend hours consulting search engines and browsing websites for their ideal travel destination. “Smart speakers” are assisting them on their quest, with more and more travellers finding their ideal destination and suitable air tickets using voice technology. KLM’s booking service, which is often consulted with the aid of Google Assistant, is attracting 10 percent more users every month.
Travel inspiration on social media comes from friends and family
Instagram is expected to keep growing as a significant source of travel inspiration. The role of influencers and celebrities as a source of holiday inspiration is declining more and more (14.5 percent). Also, more than 50 percent of travellers don’t trust photos of holiday destinations shared by influencers. Travellers mainly look at posts from friends and family (65.3 percent) or click on hashtags to seek inspiration from strangers (45.9 percent).
Combining air and train travel will become more popular
Sustainability is important and travellers are taking it into account when booking. This is why travel operators are joining forces wherever possible to offer rail tickets for shorter distances as an alternative to flying. KLM will add more options to its website to plan short distances by train. The guiding principle being that the combination of air and rail travel can be planned and booked easily.
Are you compensating for CO2 emissions?
More and more passengers are compensating for their share of carbon emissions. A survey* commissioned by KLM revealed that 38.8 percent of travellers plan to compensate for CO2 emissions next year.
Your face is your passport
Queues will be shorter at the airport thanks to facial recognition technology. Earlier this year, KLM conducted tests where passengers passed through checkpoints at security, lounges and boarding by showing a selfie in the KLM App on their phones, instead of presenting their passports. The KLM App shows passengers at which airport this technology may be used. More and more passengers will encounter this technology in 2020 when new tests begin. Naturally, it is up to the passenger to decide whether they want to try this digital innovation or not.
AI to shorten waiting times in unforeseen circumstances
Unforeseen circumstances, such as thunderstorms, can lead to flight delays. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps reduce inconvenience to passengers by rapidly calculating how best to deploy available crews and aircraft. This will further improve flight punctuality in 2020.
Even more luxury and relaxation at the airport
All sorts of innovations will further improve the ways travellers spend their time at the airport. Transfer passengers will find sleeping pods in KLM’s new non-Schengen Crown Lounge or they can enjoy a luxury dinner at Restaurant Blue, with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Joris Bijdendijk.
Travellers increasingly prefer to stay off their mobile phone while on holiday, or at least to use it less. On the other hand, they can’t go without a phone altogether. Around 50 percent of passengers would prefer to use their phones as little as possible on holiday, but also indicate that this is not always possible. Almost a third of passengers would like to travel without a phone, but are afraid they will find this impossible. (IANS)