The travel & tourism industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by a greater desire from consumers for personalized offerings that heighten the traveler experience, as well as an increased focus on value among an increasingly constrained traveler base, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, and cloud. In the last three years alone, there have been over 14,000 patents filed and granted in the travel & tourism industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in travel & tourism: interactive in-flight media. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 11,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the travel & tourism industry, there are 10+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Interactive in-flight media is a key innovation area in travel & tourism
Interactive in-flight media refers to media content offered onboard an aircraft, allowing passengers to interact with and control their entertainment experience during a flight. This includes the use of personal electronic devices, wireless access points, visual display units, and communication protocols to give passengers the ability to request and customize the media content they consume while onboard.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established travel & tourism companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of interactive in-flight media.
Key players in interactive in-flight media – a disruptive innovation in the travel & tourism industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to interactive in-flight media
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Companies from various sectors are innovating in this area as it is a key factor in improving passenger experience. Airlines therefore have an obvious interest, but vendors are also eager to demonstrate to airlines that their solutions trump their rivals and can thus most effectively elevate the in-flight experience and help drive repeat custom. Anuvu (formally Global Eagle) is a specialist in connectivity and entertainment for mobility markets and has filed for multiple patents in this technology. Airlines themselves are also working on solutions, sometimes through subsidiaries. Lufthansa is a prime example of the latter, with its Lufthansa Systems (one patent) and Lufthansa Service (six patents) both being active over the last seven years.
Aircraft manufacturing giants Boeing and Airbus rank second and third in terms of the number of patent applications lodged over the last seven years with 34 and 22 patent applications, respectively. However, technology for screens and consoles themselves is driving innovation most, as evidenced by Panasonic’s leading position. The Japanese electronics giant has registered 79 applications pertaining to interactive in-flight media since 2015.
In terms of application diversity, TE Connectivity leads the pack, while Gogo and American Airlines Group are in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, MI Group held the top position, followed by LSG Lufthansa Service and Recaro Aircraft Seating.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the travel & tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Travel & Tourism.