30th August, 2018

Bluebox’s accessible IFE platform – Bluebox aIFE – named APEX Award Finalist


Finalists for the 2018 APEX Awards were announced today, and included Bluebox aIFE launched with Virgin Atlantic in the category Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation. Virgin Atlantic deployed Bluebox aIFE on 1 December 2017, making it the first global airline to make IFE accessible for passengers with sight loss across an entire fleet.

The other two finalists in the category are Singapore Airlines and their personalised IFE experience, and American Airlines’ inflight dual-screen live television. Winners will be announced during a ceremony in Boston on Monday 24th September, during the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s annual event, APEX EXPO.

“Our excitement in the build up to APEX EXPO has been boosted by this fantastic news,” said Catherine Brown, Head of Marketing for Bluebox. “APEX EXPO is always a great event for us – and being named a finalist for an APEX Award makes it feel like a success before we’ve even set foot in Boston. Aside from the exciting prospect of winning such a major award, we’re thrilled that today’s announcement shines a limelight on accessibility – and on what’s possible when airlines and technology partners work together to make the passenger experience more accessible.”

Bluebox worked closely with Virgin Atlantic and the UK charity Guide Dogs in the development of the platform, which has been entertaining passengers with visual impairments aboard Virgin Atlantic flights serving destinations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, China, India and the Middle East. Feedback from flight service crews includes:

“I give this out on most flights and wanted you to know how well it has been received by our customers. Feedback from my last customer was amazing. So good in fact that she says she will now choose to fly with us in the future based on the availability of the tablet and the care and compassion she receives from all teams from booking to baggage reclaim!”

The APEX Awards recognize innovative achievements across the airline industry that have been successfully implemented in the past year for improving passenger experience. The Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new inflight innovation that is elevating the passenger experience via GUI design, features/applications, streaming, hardware, seat integration, etc.

Since Bluebox aIFE was launched as a stand-alone solution with Virgin Atlantic, Bluebox has developed the platform to combine the original Bluebox Ai IFE platform and Bluebox aIFE. This offers airlines providing IFE a two-in-one solution for ensuring IFE is available to all passengers throughout the flight – at a tap of an on-screen button, a cabin crew member selects the accessible version for someone who is visually impaired, or the standard IFE mode which means the device can be used as a backup for those times when a passenger’s seatback screen malfunctions.


The Bluebox team will be demonstrating Bluebox aIFE at APEX EXPO in Boston from 24-27 September.

Come try it yourself at Booth #1142 – we’ll have Guide Dogs UK blindfolds to help immerse yourself in the experience of someone who is unable to see an IFE screen.

Photo shows a visitor to Bluebox exhibition stand wearing a Guide Dogs UK blindfold and trying Bluebox aIFE

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