French aerospace company Thales has presented an in-flight entertainment system which puts a 21.3-inch touchscreen directly in front of each passenger.
The company unveiled the project — nicknamed “Digital Sky” — at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg earlier this month.
This is just a prototype, though, and it’s by no means the only future for in-flight entertainment. Some airlines are experimenting with handing out tablets to passengers, as they’re lighter than installing seat-back systems.
The massive 21.3-inch touchscreen is much more capable of new services such as displaying the in-flight magazine, duty-free items for sale, or local highlights at your destination. While there aren’t any confirmed partners just yet, we can all be thankful for some improvement in this area.
Digital Sky could “change the perception of space, or even time, through engagement,” says Fred Schreiner, CTO of Thales’ in-flight experience team.
There seems to be a relationship between the sophistication of in-flight entertainment systems, and the amount of legroom on offer. The less space, the more distracted will the passgeners be with movies, TV, and fast Wi-Fi.
At the Hamburg expo, Thales set up a game of Pong, with the ball bouncing from one screen to the other. (Pong: Symbol of the Future!)