Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New networks drive innovation / Nouveaux réseaux stimulent l'innovation

I rode on a new Delta Airlines plane the other day across the US and was impressed with the television/entertainment system installed in every seat. The movie and TV portion of the system were the same as you would find on any other long-haul flight. However, the new system also allows you to play interactive games against other passengers.

Delta customers also will be entertained with a suite of 10 video games, including Book Worm, Trivia, Bejewled, Zuma, Texas Hold 'em Poker and an interactive trivia game that allows for some friendly competitive play among passengers. Panasonic's eFX single aisle in-flight entertainment system gives Delta an interactive technology platform to offer even more in-flight options in the future like laptop connectivity, broadband internet, and e-mail access.

My favorite was the interactive trivia game which pits travelers against one another. You can see all the participants' screen names and seat numbers alongside their scores as you play. I played round after round and was amazed at how quickly the time passed on the flight. I was struck by how this new and innovative application was made possible by networking the seats on the plane together. After seeing and trying the trivia game for the first time it seems like such a wonderful, simple and obvious use of the plane's upgraded internal network.

I immediately thought back to the FTTH network in St Nom and the struggles I've had trying to explain to people what applications will need 100 Mbit/s now or in the future. The answer is we probably don't know yet but they will appear once the networks are in place. They too will likely strike us as wonderful, simple and obvious after we've tried them the first time.


salleejane2 said...

So how did you do on the trivia game? Did you beat the guy in 12C?

Tad said...

It turns out the best way to win is always choosing "C" right as the answers appear. That's because the amount of points you receive decreases with the time it takes you to answer the question. Winning full points (500) 25% of the time seems to be a better strategy than taking your time to decide. :)