How many of us have tried to watch videos on our iPods while flying, or just plain wished we could charge the darn thing over long flights? Apple has felt our pain and announced today a partnership with six airlines to start adding in-flight iPod connectivity to the cabins.
The six airlines—Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM, and United—plan to have integrated iPod seat connections by sometime in mid-2007. The seat connections will supply power to the iPod, but they will also be hooked up to the airplane's seat-back displays so that users may watch video from the iPod at eye level. This, of course, could provide ergonomic relief by keeping users from having to slouch over in order to watch videos from the iPod's screen in-hand, while also providing the luxury of watching videos on a larger screen.
There is no word yet whether these upgrades will take place only in specific cabins of the plane or whether everyone, even the lowly coach passengers, will be able to enjoy iPod connectivity. Apple also announced that it's in the process of working with Panasonic Avionics Corporation in order to bring these features to even more airlines in the future.
As someone who travels a lot, this will certainly be a welcome addition to my traveling experiences. Anyone who has ever had to sit on a double-digit hour flight overseas and back can also relate—those iPod batteries don't last forever. But what of those who don't use iPods? Will they be left in the dark, or will there perhaps be some kind of converter available (either from the airlines or via third-party accessory) for non-iPod players? One thing we do know is that Apple continues to solidify its dominance in the digital music player market by making partnerships like this, leaving other players in the game to try to play catch-up.