The mere mention of the name Android ignites thoughts of powerful but cheap smartphones and tablets. Google has certainly managed to conquer the handheld devices arena with this free operating system and is now reported to be the most popular world over. But this is not all, other companies are turning to Android for specialized purposes, in this cases Boeing Dreamliner Jets – but not to power the plane, just to power the entertainment systems. Boeing recently unveiled an Android-power entertainment system for the 787 Dreamliner Jets – this shows just how Android is growing.
In its announcement, Boeing revealed that they are working on two entertainment systems for the 787 jets and both will be running on Android OS – the Thales TopSeries Avant and the Panasonic eX3. There are however no specific details on the systems or the capabilities of the Android system to be installed but if demonstrations are anything to go by, it appears that the system is top notch and highly versatile. The company demonstrated the Thales system during the Farnborough International Airshow.
The Thales TopSeries Avant system will be produced in both 17” and 10” screen sizes. These devices feature modern impressive specs – dual core ARM processors, 1 GB RAM and an amazing 256GB storage memory because they are primarily media devices expected to store large multimedia files.
The interfaces of these systems are customized – it is difficult to tell what version of Android they are running. Given the time they were produced though, it is very likely that they are running on Android 2.3 or 3.0. These devices are built to access the in-flight WiFi, it is therefore likely that updating them will be as simple as installing updates for all the devices at a go remotely.
These entertainment systems feature a ‘Touch Passenger Media Unit’ (TouchPMU) device which is 3.8” android gadget which is a companion to the Avant system and has the capability to do anything an Android phone can do. As of mid-2012, only 14 of the 859 orders for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet orders have been filled. It may be awhile before the passengers get the opportunity to experience this new Android entertainment system though. This said, it just shows how versatile and widespread Android is.