by Aakriti Shrivastava

Digital media website ScoopWhoop has announced the launch of in-flight entertainment services, giving users access to tailor-made content during air travel.

This addition to the ScoopWhoop app unlocks an in-flight feed, allowing users to read its content while flying, without internet connectivity. The feature which is currently in its beta version appears as a push notification only when one is in airplane mode and is flying above 16000 feet (cruising altitude). The feature will dissolve once there is descend in the altitude, ScoopWhoop said in a press release. The feature has been conceptualized by Dentsu Webchutney.

The app uses a barometer sensor to gauge the change in height and make the content available through a push notification. This content is preloaded when the app has access to WiFi, Debarshi Banerjee, co-founder and chief product officer at ScoopWhoop told Medianama.

Many air carriers have begun providing in-flight entertainment services in India. Most recently, Jet Airways launched JetScreen to stream digital content on mobiles and other devices while in-air in September. SpiceJet also announced a similar in-flight entertainment service in June, which would allow passengers to stream movies, sports or shop while in air.

National carrier Air India is also considering adding access to laptops for its business class passengers in a bid to increase its seat occupancy in the premium category.

In-flight internet policy

Notably, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is looking at in-flight WiFi and calling services, having released a consultation paper in October 2017, seeking comments from citizens. Reports suggest the final decision on this could come as soon as January. Once TRAI puts out the rules governing in-flight connectivity, airline carriers operating in India can set up required infrastructure and deliver internet and other connectivity services to their passengers. This could change the game for in-flight entertainment entirely.

TRAI’s consultation paper discussed which types of services should be permitted—Internet services, or MCA services, or both. It raised other questions such as should international airlines flying over multiple jurisdictions be allowed to provide in-flight connectivity over Indian airspace, or what restrictions and regulations should be applicable to in-flight connectivity providers.