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Crystal Cabin Award 2018 © United Screens

24 pioneering on-board innovations for airliners

Finalists of Crystal Cabin Award 2018 announced

The jury has announced the finalists for the Crystal Cabin Award 2018 in eight categories, a press release said Friday (February 28, 2018). A total of 24 products and concepts are among the finalists and include the new A380 First Class by Singapore Airlines, printed electrical wiring and an environment-friendly water tap by British students. The winners will be decided on April 10, 2018, during the leading Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair.

New category and flying 3D TVs

This year’s novelties include the In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) category. As the finalist Bluebox Aviation Systems shows, the “Bluebox Accessible IFE” platform provides barrier-free access to in-flight entertainment for visually impaired passengers on long-haul routes. Even more visionary, from a technological perspective, is the in-flight entertainment concept by United Screens. This German company is offering the first on-board 3D television. Passengers don’t even need to use a 3D headset.

Printed cables

One finalist in the “Material & Components” category is bringing science fiction to the cabin – behind the scenes. If Airbus and Altran have their way, the heavy, space-consuming cable harnesses behind the cabin wall panels will soon be a thing of the past. In future, a direct “Printed Electrics” process will produce wiring – for e.g. lighted signs.

The wow-effect that got U.S. company Rockwell Collins into the final in this category was visual. Their “Secant Luminous Panel” lights up the cabin ceiling with high-resolution images. Weigele Aerospace from the German Southwest, meanwhile, has its eyes clearly on creature comforts with its “Airborne Cooking Robot”. This new, energy-saving oven for the galley allows for cold and warm food to be prepared on one plate.

Transferring data with light

The Crystal Cabin Award is also offering the next generation an opportunity to position themselves with their creative ideas in the “University” category. Britain’s Cranfield University reached the final with “E-tom Smart”, a water tap that atomises water to achieve on-board water savings of up to 90 per cent without impacting hygiene. The University of Edinburgh has also reached the final with its pioneering “Li-Fi” technology, using visible light to transmit data much like Wi-Fi. “Li-Fi” is also extremely practical from a security perspective as the transfer network only exists as long as the human eye can see the light source. The U.S. University of Cincinnati, the third finalist, is also pointing the way to the digital future. Together with Boeing, students have developed a hologram surface that turns the aircraft cabin into a virtual extended space.

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