Saturday, October 15, 2011

Free WiFi in the air - with GOL

One of Brazil's leading airlines, GOL, is making new ground with a free on-board WiFi connection.

Before you raise your arms too high: The service is used for on-board entertainment, and not for connecting to the Internet. Anyway, this is a great idea, and a great step for on board entertainment.

I am getting tired of the slow badly designed entertainment systems that airlines are installing, and as many bring their smartphones, tablets, and PCs with them on board, why not using them to connect to a large collection of multimedia content. The system is to a certain extent rendering the content to the type of screen that you are used to work with. Interactivity on the current systems is really bad, and the typing is almost impossible, but all this can now change, and you can get on with real interactivity while on board. I tested the new system on a flight from Sao Paulo to Rio, and I am just sorry that the trip was so short.

This is a great way of doing stepwise innovation. Get people used to using their own devices on-board, and guess what: The next step to connect this service to the Internet is very easy. GOL can also offer downloads that you can bring with you, which in turn will become a new platform for branded services.

You can just go on thinking about the potential of this new service. Segmented advertising: Let the system know your preferences and you can get targeted advertising. When you do your on-line check in, you may, in the future, be able to chose among films from a great selection that you would like to see during the flight, and the films are loaded to the aircraft system while on the ground.

Personal devices have much more processing power per user then the current installed devices. This means that you can run much more complex and graphics demanding games.

Thumbs up for GOL. Great initiative. I am already eager to see the next step.