Thales Avionics, Inc. (Irvine, CA)

A communications system supports transactions via seat video display units (SVDUs) or passenger electronic devices (PEDs) in aircraft. The aircraft server receives a promotional list from a server located on the ground. Each requirement specifies a condition which must be fulfilled before transactions can be completed to receive the promotional offer. The ground-based server gets reports with statistics on the use of promotions from the aircraft server. The server determines whether any of the criteria conditions are met according to the promotional usage metrics, and when one of the criteria requirements related to a satisfactory one of the promotions is determined to be met, sends a message to the server in the aircraft that authorizes completion of the transactions for the satisfied one of the promotional. The vehicle server advertises the promotion and provides ground-based servers with reports that include metrics regarding promotion usage.

Promotions that are offered during in-flight entertainment (“IFE”) may be connected to the content (e.g. film documentaries, television shows or video games) hosted by IFE. Airlines are able to pay promoters to insert a promotional message within the video. For example, video promotions could be shown on screens prior to or during a film. Some airlines opt to display promotions the moment an individual accesses the IFE to guarantee that all passengers using the IFE,even those not starting the video program, will be displayed a variety of advertisements.

In an offline setting, such as an aircraft, content has to be loaded onto on-board servers before it can be distributed to passengers via television screens installed at their seats or streamed to their personal devices (e.g.,smartphones laptops, laptops or tablets). The content may be prepared and loaded onto the on-board server every thirty to sixty days. The promotions could be tied to the content. Content may not be changed for 30 to 60 days. Promotions could become less relevant after they are modified. For example, a promotion for a sporting event for instance, could be still advertised after it has been completed.

Below is a detailed description of several examples of the invention. You can incorporate the invention in various ways, and it is not limited to the methods described herein.

Some embodiments address a communication system that allows transactions to be made via seat video display units (SVDUs) and/or passenger electronics devices (PEDs) which are found onboard passenger vehicles. A ground-based server as well as a vehicle server are both part of the communication system. The ground-based server sends to the server in the vehicle a list of promotion criteria and their associated requirements, where each criteria defines conditions that must be fulfilled before transactions initiated through one of theSVDUs and/or PEDs can receive an associated one of the promotions. To qualify for one of these offers, passengers must initiate at minimum one transaction. The vehicle server is able to receive the set of promotional offers and related requirements from the server located on the ground, and promotes the set of promotions to passengers using graphic user interfaces like the SVDUs or the PEDS. The vehicle server generates promotion usage metrics based on receivingtransactions initiated by passengers through the SVDUs and/or the PEDs requesting identified ones of the set of promotions. The vehicle server provides reports that contain the metrics for usage to the ground-based server.

Ground-based servers get the reports and assess whether any of the conditions have been fulfilled. This is based on promotional usage metrics. It also checks whether passengers have initiated enough transactions to reach the threshold of minimum transactions. The server on the ground determines that one of these criteria conditions is satisfied and sends a notification back to the vehicle server, allowing the execution of transactions for the promoted promotion. The vehicle server receives the notification and responds by sending a promotion completion notification to each of the SVDUs and/or the PEDs where transactions were initiatedfor the satisfied promotion. In this manner, the people who participated in the promotion are informed that the promotion has been satisfied.

Other examples provide a ground-based service that allows transactions to be made on passenger vehicle SVDUs or PEDs. A ground-based server is able to upload to the vehicle server the list of promotions along with related criteria. Each criteria specifies a prerequisite to be met prior to transactions being initiated using one of the SVDUs , or PEDs. To be eligible for one of these promotions, a person must initiate at the very least one transaction. Ground-based servers receive reports from the vehicle server containing promotional usage metrics. Based on the promotion usage metrics, the ground-based server decides if one or more of the conditions are satisfied. This includes whether there is a threshold amount of transactions made by passengers to be eligible for one the promotions. The ground-based server transmits a notification to the vehicle server that allows the scomplement of transactions to be conducted for the satisfied one of the promotions after a conclusion is made that one of the criteria conditions that are associated with one of the promotional offers is found to be fulfilled.

Some other embodiments are directed to a vehicle server which supports shopping with PEDs and/or SVDUs in passenger vehicles. The server for the vehicle receives the list of promotional offers and the associated specifications from the ground-based server. The set of promotions is distributed by the vehicle server to SVDUs or PEDS. Based on the number of transactions received by the vehicleserver from the SVDUs and/or the PEDs, the vehicleserver calculates the promotional usage metrics. The vehicle server transmits the promotion usage metrics to the ground-based server. The vehicle server receives a message from the ground-based server which allows the completion of transactions for the promotion that is satisfied. The server in the vehicle responds by sending a notice of completion of the promotion to each of the SVDUs or PEDs.

The various embodiments bring many advantages. These and other embodiments have potential benefits, such as the removal of logistical restrictions associated with delivering and offering promotions. You can increase passenger interest in promotional products by entice customers to purchase onboard. This can be achieved by using an interactive and engaging user interface, systems offering constantly changing promotions, and IFE functions to enhance the promotional and buying experience. The processes for promoting products or services as well as other items can provide a gamified experience for passengers that can lead to increased passenger engagement and may lead to an increase in onboard sales andassociated revenues.

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