One of the few joys of sitting in a hard, cramped chair at 40,000 feet is peeking out the window and taking in the vast horizon below you. But how do you know what you are looking at?
A new free travel app called Inflighto takes the map technology that has been glued into your neighbor’s headrest for the last few decades to a whole new level.
While the headrest maps superimpose a not-to-scale plane over a slowly shifting map, Inflighto uses the plane’s WiFi to deliver live pinpoint tracking. The app also connects to social media platforms, making it easier to keep friends and family updated on your flight.
Not only will users be able to identify the different landmasses your plane is cruising over, but the app also offers information about tourist destinations, landmarks, and events taking place below.
For those who want to know what’s happening down on Earth at all times, even when crossing an ocean, the app shows information about boat traffic underneath your plane.
For nervous flyers, upgrading to the premium version of the app gets users access to information about incoming weather patterns, giving users more time to prepare for possible turbulence.
Users can also access a messaging chat room that allows them to communicate with the crew, fellow passengers, even the pilots. As Inflighto was created by two Australian pilots, the app is meant to improve the flying experience for passengers and crew members alike.
“We realized the PA system is pretty limiting for pilots who see a lot of interesting things out the cockpit window”, said co-founder and pilot Christopher Smyth, who gave the Northern Lights as an example. “It might be an inconvenient time during the flight when most of the cabin are asleep or watching movies. The flight crew probably don’t want to disturb everyone to let them know there’s something to look at our the window.”
Smyth and his co-founder John Hopkins created the app to help passengers “re-engage with flying” as an experience.
Even if the plane isn’t whizzing past an Aurora, just about anything a pilot points out beats having to watch another rom-com on a headrest screen.