7 Airline trends

Now in their 10th year, the Crystal Cabin Awards, given out during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, reveal the best of what we might expect from the future of flying.

This year, the awards received record submissions of 98 entries from 18 countries — 78 of which have now made to the shortlist.

While varied in their nature and approach, these submissions share one aim: to ensure a more efficient use of cabin space, while improving the onboard experience for passengers.

Based on submissions, here are the dominant trends driving tomorrow’s passenger experience:

1. BYOD is here to stay.

As the technology trends for personal electronic devices move at an accelerated pace, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) entertainment options continue to grow. But embedded In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) manufacturers are also improving their offerings with high-end screens and high-tech systems.

2. In-Flight Wi-Fi is headed for what the Crystal Cabin Awards organizers describe as “massive expansion.”

In many ways, this expansion supports the BYOD trend. In-Flight Connectivity antennas don’t come cheap, but sometimes those costs can be off-set by lighter aircraft. Device streaming solutions save on the weight and reduce costs of offering entertainment on aircraft where none is available.

It will be fun watching these two top trends duke it out, but we expect airlines will offer a mix of entertainment options, especially on long-haul flights.

3. Inductive charging will rock the skies.

This trend is only starting, but industry innovators have presented concepts which will let us charge devices on surfaces without the needs of cables of plugs. BYOD entertainment will require more power, and cables can be a nuisance, so this is trend is very good news.

4. Immersive Virtual Entertainment is hanging in there for a good flight.

Because of relative costs, and some issues with onboard communications we’re still a bit skeptical about VR Headset IFE. But some airline experts believe it will take off, so we may could just be the wrong demographic for this one. Admittedly, our own Oculus trials looked something like this:

5. Cabin lighting trend evolves from ambient mood-lighting to animated IFE.

Here again there’s some skepticism, but not on our side. While some have rationally pointed out the cost limitations of animated lighting as a passenger experience and design enhancement,Boeing is banking on its future. Airbus is too.

Source: www.skift.com