By Fred Vergnères
Since its launch in 2008 Collins Aerospace has been steadily evolving its Venue cabin management system – CMS. It must be said that from its inception, the system had been developed with the intention of being able to evolve over time. In the last eight years, technology has evolved at an impressive rate and the company’s engineers have had a lot of work to do to meet the new requirements.
The development of this new evolution is mainly focused on a functionality identical to the solutions proposed in everyday life. As Olivier Durand, regional marketing manager – Avionics at Collins Aerospace, points out, « our customers want to find in the cabin, the functionalities they have in everyday life at home. » The GUI has two main functions within the CMS Cabin Management System – Venue: control of the cabin environment (windows shades, temperature, lighting, etc.) and entertainment (audio, video, connectivity, etc.). Settings and interface controllable from a personal device via an application or via the elements integrated into the device. Simplify the device to contribute to a better interaction with the user that is the passenger. Such is the credo of Collins Aerospace which with its GUI makes room for an intuitive ergonomics with instantly identifiable applications close to what we find within smartphones and touch tablets of the general public. The company has focused its research on the interface because, as the manager points out, « it is the central element of the system in relation to the user ». In order to give the passenger a new experience, the company has focused its research on simplifying the icons and graphics. « We have created a bank of icons, and using many standard ones that we are familiar with in our everyday life. » says O. Durand. For the cabin functions, Collins Aerospace indicates that it has developed specific graphics for each aircraft and according to its configuration in order to control all the elements in specific areas. In order to simplify the interaction as much as possible, Collins Aerospace engineers have made sure to reduce the number of “clicks” required to access the function as quickly as possible without having a perfect knowledge of all the different menus. « Whether it’s the cabin mount or a personal connected object, the interface and installed applications will be visually identical. The aim is to give the user the feeling of a familiar world so that he or she can instinctively use all the functions of our CMS. » confirms the regional marketing manager.
1,600 aircraft equipped
Collins Aerospace makes a point of constantly improving its Venue system, and to do so, it does not hesitate to confront all the markets related to high technology onboard… or not. At the beginning of each year, the manufacturer attends the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This great mass dedicated to new technologies is an important source of information for Collins Aerospace as Olivier underlines: « We are inspired by the best of the innovation market and we take our references at the CES which is held in Las Vegas in order to have a visibility on all the innovations available, and this at all levels of use. We take the best of these solutions and see if they transfer directly to our applications, or if we have to adapt them to the concept. » Among the latest developments brought by the manufacturer in the interior space of business aircraft, the 4K definition or video on demand designated Stage. The Stage system, offered to customers since 2016, with a catalog of thousands of titles, is undoubtedly a revolution in the world of cabin entertainment, even proving to be ahead of land-based offers. The innovation and ease of use of the interface units within the Venue system are therefore paramount for the U.S. company, which is a leader in this market. According to Olivier Durand, “More than 1,600 aircraft in service around the world are equipped with the Venue system and its development continues to grow, particularly with the integration of this new GUI interface. »
While Venue is appealing to a wide range of users and owners in all aircraft segments, this solution is mainly chosen by users of very high-end ACJ/BBJ aircraft, but also by owners of Gulfstream, Falcon and other Bombardier aircraft. The presence of the manufacturer at Ebace is of major importance for its CMS solution, as the EMEA region represents 30% of its international market. A figure that could continue to grow in the years to come with the new technological developments more and more personalized.