australia: qantas introduces onboard ipads

the airline industry has been remarkably slow in embracing internet and related products for use onboard aircraft, but it now looks like the tide is finally changing. currently in a try-out phase only, australian carrier qantas hands out an ipad 2 on a designated boeing 767-300 to both business class and economy class passengers. the project is aptly named q streaming, and each passenger onboard this specific airplane will find the device in their seat-back pocket, while those in business class get an additional flexible stand which can be used on the fold-down meal tray. a special q streaming app that's loaded onto the ipad serves as the front-end for on-demand entertainment beamed over wireless networking from a central server on the aircraft. interestingly, q streaming also allows passengers with their own tablet to download videos to watch within a 24-hour period of leaving the aircraft if the program was cut short by the plane landing. qantas' innovative system is also compatible with other tablets, notebooks and even smartphones. the q streaming try-out will continue until the end of this month, and this specific plane flies the airline's main routes within australia only.