So the Future of Flying Isn’t Gonna Suck

2016’s “air travel Oscars” promise better WiFi, in-flight VR

By The Editors
January 25, 2016 9:00 am

They might not get as much coverage as a certain awards show taking place in Hollywood next month, but the Crystal Cabin Award at the Aircraft Interiors Expo are kind of a big deal.

The “aircraft-cabin Oscars,” now in its tenth year, is where in-the-know travel industry folks congregate to share their visions for what the future holds for the friendly skies. And last week, they revealed their shortlist of nominees for 2016.

Among the notable proposals:

Better WiFi 
To grant the wish for WiFi, many airlines are installing dual antennas to provide passengers with uninterrupted broadband connectivity.

Compatibility with Your Devices
Also on the horizon: technologies that will charge a smartphone or tablet simply by placing it on an armrest within the cabin.

Next-Gen In-Flight Entertainment (Yes, with VR!)
What to expect from seat-back screens of the future? Virtual reality headsets and 3D glasses, for starters.

It’s All About the Ambience
Beyond better creature comforts, creating a “feel good atmosphere” is becoming a huge priority for most carriers, according to the folks at Crystal Cabin. To that end, designers are utilizing LED technology “to illuminate the cabin independently” no matter what time it is so, for example, “a sunrise can be simulated on long flights to minimise jet lag” or images of stars, clouds and or blue skies can be beamed throughout the aircraft.

Winners will be announced in April and nominees include B/E Aerospace for its Viu Flex Lighting System, Diehl Aerospace for its Projection Enabled Flight Experience and Zodiac Aerospace for its Rave Wireless Overhead Display.

Images via Crystal Cabin Award

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