(Hey, man, that is exactly the headline that Virgin America is using, so don't shoot the messenger on this one)
Virgin America is showing their in-flight entertainment system, something we'll get to experience if the DOT ever gives them permission to fly.
The system offers
* a QWERTY keyboard
* Live TV (Dish Network)
* Pay movies
* Email/SMS/instant messaging/chat rooms, providing an airborne social network
* 3,000 mp3 tracks and 20 radio channels
* Open source video games
* food ordering from the seat
As well as wireless broadband.
I'm not sure I want to go into a chatroom with the business dickhead in 23H and the vacationing senior in 13B, but it's a new idea. JetBlue has done some interesting symbolic things to suggest that passengers are "in this together" - so the emotional meaning of the social-network-of-strangers-in-a-metal-tube might have more impact than the raw functionality. I'd certainly try it.
Steve Portigal is the founder of Portigal Consulting. In the past 15 years Steve has interviewed families eating breakfast, rock musicians, credit-default swap traders, and radiologists. His work has informed the development of music gear, wine packaging, medical information systems, corporate intranets, videoconferencing systems, and iPod accessories. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies like eBay, Adobe, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, and Dolby Laboratories. He has a graduate degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Guelph and is an avid photographer who has a Museum of Foreign Groceries in his home.
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