A Wireless Computer Games and Video Entertainment System for the Aircraft Cabin Environment

D. Folden, T. Howard, T. Jackson, E. Julian, L. Junkert, D. Lopez, M. Panique, R. Tiensvold, M.J. Oudshoorn, and R.S. Wolff (USA)


Computer games, wireless networks, mobile devices


Current aircraft cabin systems utilize a wired network topology and offer only limited passenger entertainment services. In this paper we explore the feasibility of utilizing a wireless network to reduce cabin wiring and reconfiguration costs and to provide passengers with a high-quality entertainment experience including personalized video and audio as well as state-of-the-art computer games. The problem addressed is to determine whether this is feasible given the computer system demands of today’s state-of-the-art network based games combined with the design constraints imposed by the aircraft cabin environment and the bandwidth demands of streaming video. In both cases, the study assumes functionality that would be commercially available in the 2008 timeframe and beyond. We develop several architectures and through a combination of emulation and simulation, assess the viability of each alternative. We show that a highly distributed architecture, utilizing trends in mobile gaming devices and high-speed (802.11a/n) wireless LANs, together with MPEG-4 encoded video, yields a promising approach to providing passengers with a high-quality entertainment experience.

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