Inflight entertainment and connectivity is a major field of growth and more and more airlines are installing wireless connectivity solutions for passengers. Two finalists in the “Electronic Systems” category of the Crystal Cabin Awards exemplify this development: Lufthansa Technik’s “nice view mobile” product allows passengers to follow their journey with interactive maps on their personal mobile devices. The U.S. company Global Eagle Entertainment has submitted a complete entertainment portal allowing passengers to surf the internet, watch films and read magazines on their smartphones. Airbus has also reached the finals in this category with radio-based wireless communication – Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications (WAIC). Smoke detectors, lighting and temperature regulation can be controlled with a patented radio frequency – no cables are required and it is easy for the airlines to install.
“Passenger Comfort Hardware” category
Airbus is a finalist in a total of four categories including “Passenger Comfort Hardware” where its “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration” solution for moving aircraft seats on rails is in competition. Ideas for efficient reconfiguration of seating depending on load have emerged in the past. The Airbus approach now promises minimal effort for installation and crew operation, so that the rail system can be operated without any prior mechanical knowledge. Minimal effort is the principle behind another finalist namely Diehl Comfort Modules. The company’s bar module can be integrated into the gallery in just a few simple steps, magically transforming the grey and dull kitchenette into a bar or a duty-free sales counter within seconds. Canada’s Bombardier is debuting in the Crystal Cabin Awards this year and are presenting their concept of barrier-free toilets for their CRJ aircraft in this category.
Creative student concepts will again feature in this year’s “University” category. And the Delft University of Technology is aiming to repeat last year’s success with more than one idea in the 2017 final: “myseat” is the equivalent of a parking guidance system for passengers, accompanying them all the way from check-in to their seat using Bluetooth technology. The idea is to achieve a structured boarding process while the “Revitalisation System” turns the cabin seating upholstery into a game controller. Body movements when seated control the on-board entertainment system and lengthy periods in the seat become a workout. Another finalist, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, is focusing on independent travel for wheelchair users who face many hurdles especially when using the on-board toilet. Thanks to its specially designed seat, the “Smart Onboard Wheelchair” can be rolled over the toilet.
Award ceremony during Aircraft Interiors Expo
The seven winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards will be announced on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (April 4-6, 2017) in Hamburg’s Hotel Kempinski. A jury of experts including airlines, producers, professors and journalists will quiz the finalists during the preceding Elevator Pitch.
Read more about the other products and categories:
Part 1: Highly anticipated Crystal Cabin Awards
Part 2:Cabin baggage systems and recyling in the skies
Sources and further information:
An overview of all finalists can be found on: