Can Lync fly?

This was a proof-of-concept that I made quiet a time ago (may 2013). I was hoping to perform it again with more data and images, but never got the right time 😦
With all the new features of Lync 2013 (mobile devices), one of my curious questions was: can I make a video call using Lync on a plane?

The Cookbook
– A Lync 2013 deployment (front-end + edge servers);
– one computer (my home PC) and a smartphone (Iphone 4) with Lync client
Airfield with 3G network coverage
– A plane and a pilot
lync-pilot
– A co-pilot to handle the lync call – we prefered to leave the pilot with is main task 😉
– Clear sky for great images

The outcome
Mission partially acomplished! There was one expected problem an one unexpected failure. 3G coverage while the plane is on air is very unstable (image freezes during transmition and the call failed after several minutes) and I forgot to give record permissions to the ‘land’ user.

So I have to improvise and manage to save one picture from my desktop.
lync-flying

I want to thanks to this guys that made this test possible:
Flight academy Hangar 5, for the plane (and is aso a great place to learn to fly);
– “Captain” Nuno Colaço for the flight.

Conclusions

I don’t think we will have Lync conferencing as an airplane gadget, but it’s will just be matter of time and legislation to allow the use of wireless devices on board.
But the airlines will be looking for this potential. One of our customers where I deployed Lync was evaluating the possibility to use Lync with the pilots Ipad to discuss fligth plans with the main office control room (this while on land, of course).

Other samples of video call from planes:
– An inflight facetime videocall from a commercial flight (2010);
Skype in-flight video call made on MSNBC TV;
– Skype Call and Google + Hangout with Gogo Inflight Wifi (2011).

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