The job of the air-stewards will be tougher as the Federal Communications Commission considers give a green light for the use of smartphones on airplanes above 10,000 feet. They are now seeking public opinion but will likely to be welcomed by most. The agency has already lifted restrictions for devices, such as e-readers and tablets to be used during take-off and landing. Next you can make calls and check emails as long as the plane is above 10,000 ft. I can’t imagine 50% of people talking and shouting into their phones and suddenly the cabin will be turned into stock market trading floor.
Gogo Text & Talk will launch early next year and Gogo is working hard testing the applications before its first major release next year. This service is not likely to be cheap. For 24 hours of continuous access on the same airline, Gogo charges $14 per passenger. For unlimited monthly use of Gogo Wi-Fi on any Gogo-equipped flight, Gogo charges $50. If initial access costs $14, Gogo will likely to charge those users an extra $10 or more to annoy their fellow passengers by talking and texting. It can make travelling very productive and honestly no one wants to be off the grid especially for long flights. But no one wants to listen to other speaking while you try to get some sleep. It is the traveller’s dilemma. We need something like a 5-minute rule for each call. Social etiquette needs to be developed and adopted, otherwise flight experience will be far worse than today’s.
In Europe, the European Commission last week adopted new rules to allow people to use devices with 3G and 4G data connections. Previously, the agency only allowed 2G wireless services to be used aboard flights above 3000 meters. They will next decide whether talking on your smartphones will be allowed. It won’t stop here. We will have people walking around with googleglass, go-pro cams and all kind of wearables and suddenly flying is never the same again. I can’t wait to see that.
Here’s an innovation opportunity for this unmet needs, design a head-set with microphone that works like a helmet and once you put it on no one can hears you talk. It is kind of a like wearable personal phone-booth like the one below. We’ve been working on one for years.