Singapore Airlines says seatback cameras are "disabled"

As long as you use protection

Fortunately most planes I’ve been in that have USB, also have 120V AC outlets, so I just use those to be safe.


Some kind of hat is called for


What’s your guess for the host side of the port? Power only? Some DVD-player level SoC that is probably all kinds of vulnerable; but also pretty much just a fixed-function video decoder with enough OSD capability to draw menus, agonizingly slowly?

A full ARM application processor; running either a custom Android skin on top of a BSP drawn from the noble lineage of atrocious mystery tablets or a somewhat mutilated Linux 2.6 based custom embedded build?

I’m guessing that it’s “hope this is physically incapable of interacting with anything important” level quality regardless; but it is probably new enough to not be WinCE and cost and power sensitive enough to not be embedded NT.

The phrasing “permanently disabled” and “cannnot be activated on board” seems like it’s either deep weasel territory or has suffered a bit in translation.

If they are permanently disabled then stating that they cannot be activated on board is redundant(unless it’s a translation artifact of someone a few hops of telephone ago drawing a distinction between the configuration of the Singapore Airlines-spec version of the unit and the OEM/ODM version that has mutated a bit).

If they cannot be activated specifically “on board”; then either someone is leaning dishonestly hard on the “c’mon, the flight crew probably isn’t going to have a chance to update the config/firmware to flip the camera bit to ‘on’, ergo the cameras are off” theory; while specifically not denying that they could be enabled easily enough during any future maintenance stop longer than a basic cabin cleaning.

1 Like

Did their patent for “making a video call … on a plane” fall through?

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.