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Palmtop Users Need In-Flight Support Standards

Palmtop Users Need In-Flight Support Standards

I'd like to suggest that airlines and the air-to-ground telephone industry agree on standards for the support of computing devices in flight.

We have some very pleasing examples of standards emerging to make life easier for us all. Camcorder, cellular telephone and portable computer users will appreciate that Duracell, Varta and Toshiba are defining a set of standard, interchangeable rechargeable battery packs. With it, users will no longer need to depend on one manufacturer, competition will send prices down and increase availability worldwide.

So what about industry standards to support the use of notebook computers and Personal Digital assistants in flight? Will each airline offer different connectors to their in-flight telephone system? Will the seat offer a DC power supply, but, alas, with different voltages and connectors? Will we have dataline connectors standard in business class seats?

How are GTE Airfone, ClairCom, Hughes and the others approaching this? Or are they (and the airlines) considering that working on a notebook in flight would take attention away from revenue generating in-flight shopping? Could this be a reason for hostility towards in-flight use of electronic devices?

Let's get this right, before we have too many standards to choose among.

Roger Stewart Milano, ITALY

iPhone Life magazine

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