You’ll soon be able to track your friends and family as they fly through air lanes thanks to a new deal brokered between Glympse and inflight Wi-Fi provider Gogo. While in the air and connected to Gogo’s in-plane network, customers will be able to use either Glympse’s app or website to temporary share their locations in the sky, letting them coordinate rides and plans with their families and friends.
Glympse is an incredibly useful service if you want to let your friends know your ETA or are arrange a meeting point in a crowded public space. But Gogo is adding something extra to the mix. Glympse Inflight is a special feature launching Friday that coordinates with Gogo’s flight tracking systems and network to update your location and flight info. Glympse isn’t trying to guess your arrival time based on your phone’s GPS coordinates and your 500 mph airspeed. Instead, it’s accessing the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight tracking databases which keep a continual watch on all traffic in the sky.
That also means the Glympse will continue working when the phone is turned off or disconnected from the network – a helpful feature since Glympse normally would constantly update your location over a network connection. Though new FAA regulations now allow fliers to use their devices in Wi-Fi mode from gate-to-gate, many customers won’t remain connected the entire flight, to avoid draining their batteries or paying the steep cost of a whole-flight Gogo plan.
There’s a lot not to like to Gogo – namely its slow speeds, spotty connectivity and expensive rates – however, it’s encouraging to see the company add useful services beyond mere Wi-Fi access. It plans to boost its speeds as well next year with a network upgrade.