Qantas First Class Suite Controller

Front-End Team Lead - Massive

For the launch of the Airbus A380 in Australia in 2008, Qantas engaged with Massive to develop the in-flight entertainment system and the first-class suite controller.

The controller enabled passengers to manage all aspects of their suite, from lighting, to seat position and massage settings, through to entertainment options and even flight map information.

Qantas first class suite with suite controller and in-flight entertainment

Overview

I developed the controller interface, which ran on a touch-screen device running Windows CE and Flash, and sent and received commands to the suite hardware via a TCP socket connection.

The hardware was quite limited, with 64MB of RAM (1000 times less than the machine I typed this on!) , so I developed my own memory management system, as the Flash Player’s automatic memory manager was unreliable in limited RAM situations.

Qantas first class suite with suite controller and in-flight entertainment

Features

Despite the hardware constraints, the suite controller was packed with features, including:


  • Suite and seat presets
  • Manual seat adjustment
  • Massage controls
  • Lighting controls
  • Window & privacy controls
  • Entertainment controls
  • Flight path
  • Translation to eight languages

Flight Path

The Flight Path functionality was a last-minute addition by Qantas. Initially it seemed unfeasible due to the hardware constraints, however, thanks to my memory management system, and weeks of testing with real-time flight path data, I succeeded in implementing it into the device.

Qantas first class suite controller flight map

Legacy

The suite controller remained in operation for 14 years, finally being replaced with upgraded hardware, software and UI in 2022.

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