Gogo is moving on from providing just Wi-Fi service on airplanes to launching a whole new multimedia platform that will hopefully rival the pithy offerings on the screens fitted to the back of seats today.
Frequent flyers of Delta, United and US Airways might already be familiar with Gogo. Virgin America passengers during the holiday surely are as the airline usually partners with Google to gift free Wi-Fi access for several weeks at the end of the year.
VA is also the only domestic carrier with a decent selection of multimedia choices beyond a few dozen satellite channels as there are some games and movies available to rent, but it's not really enough to entertain someone a cross-country flight.
Hoping to fulfill that void is Gogo's new portal, developed in partnership with design and innovation firm IDEO, that includes access to online services with real-time travel information, destination content, news, exclusive shopping deals (notably with Gilt Groupe) and social network integration. Additionally, Gogo has signed a deal with some Hollywood studios to offer movies and TV shows for rent while up in the air.
Now, if someone was able to bring their laptop and could access the Wi-Fi network, all of that would be available to the user already just by connecting to the Internet. But say if someone didn't, well then at least there's another entertainment system to look at to make the time fly by. All of this content, except for the aforementioned rentals, will be accessible for free.
Gogo is expected to launch the new multimedia platform during the third quarter of 2011.