It has been a busy few months since we all returned home from the 2016 Aircraft Interiors Expo. With over 530 exhibitors and 16,000 attendees, there was certainly a lot for our team to explore, absorb and consider in creating this report.
Here are just some of the new ideas and trends that we think could be a part of "What's Next" in this dynamic industry.
The Skylights “theater” gives passengers an immersive cinema experience with a high-res, wide screen view of 3-4 movies. The company says it will be available on 12 airlines soon.
Intel's RealSense technology leveraged in a prototype kiosk measures luggage for carry-on compliance.
Gentherm, the company that heats and air conditions seats for auto luxury brands, is bringing this experience to the skies with their thin coil technology. Watch for this new functionality in passenger control handsets.
Gentherm is aiming to warm and cool more than bottoms - the company also offers a drink heating/cooling device.
Trends, tracking and maintenance - connectivity is no longer just providing value for the passenger; the business applications that have long been talked about are becoming a reality.
Airspace by Airbus is an entirely new cabin design that puts a distinct emphasis on aesthetics and passenger experience first.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner's forward-thinking interior has inspired other innovative interiors across the industry.
B/E Aerospace's "Viu" lighting system uses flexible LED lights to bring light to hard-to-access corners of the cabin.
The parallels between the automotive and airline passenger experience is something we’ve been talking about for some time now, and it was drawn again at AIX. The Lamborgini situated in a free WiFi area of the show was a head-turner and an homage to this parallel industry. Innovations from seating to monitoring, materials to connectivity can be seen in new offerings for passengers of autos and airplanes.
Sela integrated adjustable lighting features in their seating solution, allowing passengers to customize their onboard environment.
Aerospace Technologies Group addressed passengers' desire for personal space with their concept seat 'pod'.
Turkish airlines is turning its attention to improving its seat offerings. With features including a "U-Neck Headrest" concept, improved lumbar support, and pedals on the seat track (pictured below), the airline wants to ensure a comfortable trip for all its passengers.
Carlisle's modular configurable design approach to their adapter plate with radome is an "agnostic" solution that adjusts to fit 8 different antennas, offering maximum flexibility. Adjustable for different aircraft frames, the configurable design approach includes 4 separate sections of standard aluminum billet sections. The design also features a large format fuselage mount antenna designed for maximum sweep volume.
The Piuma Sofa is bringing back 'cuddle class' with an economy seat with headrests that clip off the seat backs and onto the front of the seat cushions to form a bed. The concept wouldn't interfere with legroom or storage under the seat, and its weight difference is minimal at less than 2 kg.
Rebel Aero has designed a seat that will "rewrite the standards for space, comfort and safety." The seat base folds up to accommodate a standing position during flight or can be folded into a booster position for children. The seat has a 3-point harness as well.
Diehl's Smart Galley is a modular concept that allows operators to switch the galley configuration within hours.
Vision Systems' Acti-vision window features transparent OLED displays with touch panels that are overlaid onto an airplane window. These new technologies also bring the possibility of an onslaught of in-air advertising.
Dandelion by Diehl Aerosystems creates a custom cabin experience by projecting static or dynamic images onto the cabin ceiling, utilizing a unique area of the cabin on-demand. Missed the captain during taxi after landing? No problem. Imagine the flight number, current location, time, weather and baggage terminal information conveniently displayed on the ceiling as you exit the aircraft.
Reboon, a German consumer products company, made their AIX debut with a brilliantly simple solution for passengers flying on aircraft without IFEC offerings.
Inflight VR is enabling passengers to feel like they’re just about anywhere while on the way to their destination.
SEKISUI's new Infused Imaging technology allows patterns-in-product thermoplastics, allowing an enhanced, cohesive brand experience.
This seat frame has been upcycled into a refreshed product. We loved this idea when we first heard about Southwest Airlines' LUVSeat initiative and still love this approach now.
Mucell is a relatively new injection process that injects nitrogen gas directly into foam. This improves part stability while reducing weight, ultimately saving airlines time and money.
Air New Zealand's Business Premier cabins include 3D printed in-seat cocktail tables, allowing quick manufacturing of small quantities and replacement parts.
Airbus, partnering with Autodesk, showcased its Bionic Partition, a full-height galley partition manufactured by 3D printing the necessary metal components. This structure would reduce weight by 45% while maintaining performance.
Industrial design engineering students at TU Delft collaborated with KLM and Zodiac Aerospace to design a new seat concept that measures physical and mental well-being. The crew would be able to monitor passengers by reading charts form a software system that uses heart rate sensors integrated into the seats.
In yet another parallel to the automotive industry, Mirus, who boasts inspiration from Formula One, announced AirAsia as its launch customer during this year's AIX - their first time exhibiting.