Thales introduced two new inflight entertainment (IFE) suites, the lower-cost Core and the high-end Prestige, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week.

They come in addition to the existing, middle-of-the-range Avant, presented four years ago. The systems will be able to receive content from Inflight 360, Thales’ in-development digital platform. 

"Core is the essential IFE," Richard Perrot, the company’s vice president for marketing in IFE and connectivity, says. It is economically efficient and its interface can support e-commerce. It can be pre-configured to shorten the delivery cycle to the carrier.

The possibilities to customize the configuration include a graphical user interface, which can be made consistent with the carrier’s brand image, Perrot explains. 

Core has been designed for "economy class and low-cost carriers — airlines that are looking for reduced-cost IFE with a good passenger experience, but without sophisticated technical features."

Thales’ Prestige IFE suite is bringing 4K quality to passenger displays in an aircraft — an industry first, according to Perrot. One of the first customers is Emirates for the Boeing 777Xs it has on order.

Prestige goes further than Core in terms of customization. "We are giving the customer the possibility to design the brand policy that will make it unique, we are going to co-create the content and interface," says Perrot. "All our assets will be at the customer's disposal," Perrot adds, including Cortex, a research and development center in artificial intelligence based in Montreal.

Prestige is targeted at all classes in the cabin. "Two passengers sitting next to each other will not have the same interface," Perrot points out. The interface factors in the passenger’s age, citizenship and tastes. Recommendations will be made depending on the passenger’s choices on previous flights. This will involve the use of data stored in the airline’s customer relationship system.

The Inflight 360 digital platform now has "its first bricks" available, Perrot says, such as targeted advertisement thanks to data analytics. Broader services are planned to appear in 2019.