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Coming soon to air travel: the iPad

Bluebox Avionics is making iPads available to airlines, which in turn can offer them travelers who want to watch movies, play games, or read e-books.

Bluebox Avionics' Web site is touting its plan for airlines to offer iPads to passengers. Screenshot by CNET

Bluebox Avionics, a company that offers in-flight entertainment products to airlines, said this week that it will start delivering its service on Apple's iPad in July.

Dubbed Bluebox Ai, the company's in-flight entertainment will run on iPads given to travelers to use while on the plane. Through iPads with Bluebox Ai, passengers can watch "first-run" movies, play games, read e-books and magazines, and even gamble in an in-flight casino. They can also access Apple's App Store and download any of the more than 200,000 apps available, Bluebox asserts on its product page.

Bluebox Avionics is marketing Bluebox Ai to airlines. Although details are scant, the company apparently wants airlines to offer Bluebox Ai-equipped iPads during flight to travelers. They are meant to replace typical in-flight entertainment systems that force travelers to watch a movie chosen by the airline on a screen either on the seat in front of them or overhead.

Although the iPad is the flashy part of Bluebox Avionics' new service, it is the software running on the iPad that airlines would covet. The service streams content wirelessly to the iPad based on what the traveler chooses to view. Bluebox also points out that its software comes bundled with security that will allow travelers to view content throughout the flight, rather than at specified times when using electronic devices is allowed.

Bluebox Ai for the iPad will be rolled out in July. So far, Bluebox has inked a deal with an international airline, though it wouldn't divulge the name. It hopes to bring its Bluebox Ai-equipped iPads to more airlines in the future.