Bluebox’s European Patent for Moving Map Technology now has Unitary Effect

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Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd., a market leader in digital services platforms for the provision of services such as in-flight entertainment (IFE) and onboard retail, today announced the unitary effect and validation of its European patent granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2023, so that its European patent is now fully enforceable across 19 European countries. The patent covers a portable server that uses an aircraft’s ADS-B signal data for generating a moving map on one or more portable wireless client devices, as well as an associated system and method.

“This is an exciting milestone for us, finally being able to mark the protection across Europe of a long-standing and popular service we’ve been deploying with airlines around the world for several years now. Patenting technology is often tricky – and certainly not a quick process – as you must prove what you have developed is both novel and inventive, and so its value is worthy of protection under the law,” said James Macrae, CTO, Bluebox. “We operate in a highly competitive market, one in which we’ve seen competitors attempt to replicate our success, and so protecting our inventions and intellectual property is critical – to protect ourselves, our customers, and our award-winning technology. That’s why we’re excited about this latest milestone, complementing the protection we have in other international markets as well. The unitary effect of our European patent puts us on a very solid footing indeed, and we will continue to build on that with other patents that are still in process.”

Though passengers see the map through their Blueview interface on their own devices, what Bluebox has been granted is a patent for the underlying technology which is capturing the ADS-B signal from the aircraft, isolating real-time location and flight telemetry data that is then presented to passengers on the Blueview moving map. In other systems – even other platforms on which Bluebox deploys Blueview – location data can be captured in various other ways. But it is the novel use of the ADS-B radio signal, enabling a portable wireless system like Bluebox Wow to capture the aircraft’s location data – without a wired connection to the aircraft – that makes Bluebox Wow unique and which has resulted in the grant of patent protection for a portable server that uses the ADS-B radio signal.

The European patent (No. EP3563573) follows earlier patents granted internationally for the same technology in the United States (No. 10,993,084), and in Australia (No. 2018247105).

“Passengers being curious about where they are, what they’re flying over, or even just how much longer until they land makes moving maps the most widely accessed digital service by passengers using our Blueview platforms – and I suggest our customers are not unique as those desires are fairly universal,” said Kevin Clark, CEO, Bluebox. “When we introduced our Bluebox Wow portable wireless network system we knew that providing such a popular service would be a valuable addition to provide alongside the in-flight entertainment we originally developed the platform for. Even now, as we deploy more onboard retail-based systems, our Moving Map is still added to Blueview as a service because of its popularity, even when no IFE is present. This ubiquity of demand confirms for us that even we might have underestimated the value of our own technology – and we’re now in a position to redress that.”

Blueview is an innovative software platform that provides both the browser-based portal through which passengers can view and access a range of digital services, such as onboard retail and in-flight entertainment alongside a moving map, as well as all the underlying functionality which ensures secure payment processing, delivery of content, third-party app integration, content management and analytics. It is a digital eco-system offering airlines the ability to engage and entertain their passengers on board and earn ancillary revenue for the airline in the process.

Bluebox Wow is a cost-effective hardware platform that allows for rapid deployment of Blueview and provides the wireless network to deliver Blueview to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit stowed securely in overhead bins, and available in battery- or aircraft-powered options.

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