News / Science & Technology

Aircraft Suppliers Promote Innovative Technology in Tablet-toting World

The new cabin of an Airbus A350 XWB flight-test aircraft is illuminated during a media-day at the German headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, April 7, 2014.
The new cabin of an Airbus A350 XWB flight-test aircraft is illuminated during a media-day at the German headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, April 7, 2014.
Reuters
Ever fancied seeing your name in lights as you boarded a plane? A hologram to take you through your in-flight entertainment options? Or how about something simpler, like an easy place to rest your tablet?

Exhibitors at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg demonstrated these ideas and more as they sought to win airline customers with new seats, lighting and entertainment systems.

This may all seem like window dressing - but the commercial aircraft cabin interior market is estimated at almost $13 billion in annual sales in 2014 and expected to grow to over $17 billion in 2019, according to research by Markets and Markets.

Germany-based Diehl Aerosystems demonstrated a new cabin management system, whereby passengers could scan their boarding cards on a screen as they stepped onto the plane.

Lights would then come on in the panels of the aircraft with the passenger's seat number and name to help them to their seat, with the aim of speeding up boarding.

Diehl's other new technology on show at the fair included an on-board lavatory with sensors so you can raise and lower the lid and seat without touching them. “Hygiene is becoming an ever more important topic,” its Chief Executive Rainer von Borstel told Reuters.

Thompson Aero Seating has a novel solution to the problem of fighting over armrests with your neighbor - staggered seats. And it says the design actually makes it possible to fit more seats into a cabin than usual. Finding that crucial first customer is proving tough, however.

“Because it's so different and radical, lots of people want to go second, but no one wants to be first,” said Andy Morris, vice-president of sales and marketing at the Northern Ireland-based firm.

Tablet power

But much of the new technology at the Apr. 8-10 fair was designed with the tablet-toting traveler in mind.

Representatives of aerospace supplier Honeywell cited data estimating there will be 10 billion mobile devices, such as those made by Apple and Samsung in the world by 2016, for a global population of about 7.3 billion.

“The newest trends are all about tablet holders and power,” said Recaro Aircraft Seating CEO Mark Hiller.

U.S. start-up Skycast, which provides airlines including Westjet with Samsung and Dell tablets to rent out to customers, was demonstrating a new tablet holder that can be easily fixed on to existing seats, holding anything from smartphones up to 10.3 inch tablets, including cases.

Established German seat manufacturer Recaro, which also makes child car seats, has also designed new tablet holders in its seats that are positioned higher up, meaning passengers can easily watch films and still use the table.

UK-based Acro Aircraft Seating meanwhile has designed a new tablet table aimed at low-cost carriers, such as customer Spirit Airlines. The table holds only a tablet and a drink.

Eye tech

The increasing use of tablet technology made In Flight Entertainment [IFE] a hot issue at the Hamburg fair this year, with the organizers having to put up a temporary building to accommodate a 10 percent increase in the space requested by exhibitors active in this area.

UK-based aerospace and defense manufacturer BAE Systems is teaming up with Samsung to come up with an IFE system based around tablet devices. Replacing traditional seat-back entertainment systems with tablets on wide-bodied aircraft could save between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds in weight, BAE's director of cabin programs, Jared Schoemaker, said.

BAE said the use of tablets could be taken further. Cabin crew could use a smartphone with fingerprint technology to alter lighting on board, dim windows or adjust the amount of power going to each seat. They could even use Samsung's wearable technology devices on their wrists to receive alerts such as passenger calls.

Panasonic also said it was looking at wearable devices that passengers could use as boarding cards and showed off a new HD screen and a three-dimensional hologram that may one day be used for in-flight entertainment systems.

Meanwhile, Thales - one of the world's largest makers of IFE systems - unveiled a new business-class seat that allows passengers to control their entertainment options using eye movement, hand gestures or a touchpad built into the seat.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid