At the Passenger’s Service: In-Flight Innovations for Travelers

A380 Qantas First Class seat virtual reality headset © Qantas

Drinks Served by a Robot and Food Cooked to Perfection

Parisian company Altran has come up with a robot which can take your drinks order and bring it to your row. It can also collect rubbish at the end of the journey. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has designed a cooker which can safely and successfully fry eggs, toast bread and steam rice at altitude.

It can fit into any aeroplane galley, weighs just 13.5 kg and comes with a special locking system which ensures that everything stays in place, even during turbulence.

Altran robot innovation bring drinks airplane © Altran

Windows with More Than a View

While it’s nice to see the clouds going by as you look out of the window, on long journeys, or at night, you might fancy a change. French company Vision Systems suggests turning plane windows into interactive screens passengers can swipe through to order drinks, check details of the flight and more.

And if you want to go back to simply looking out of the window, the screens can be dimmed so you can see through the glass.

Vision Systems interactive screens porthole © Vision Systems Aeronautics

Easier Boarding and an End to Arm-Rest Battles?

Recognizing that most people would currently choose an aisle or window seat over the one in the middle, Denver-based company Molon Labe Seating is proposing setting the middle seat back and a little lower than its two neighbours, giving everybody a bit more room.

The same company has also designed an aisle seat which slides over the middle one during boarding to widen the corridor.

Virtual-Reality Entertainment

Most long-haul airlines already offer films, TV programs, music and games in every seatback, but virtual reality is predicted to be the next big thing in airline entertainment. Already trialed by Qantas, virtual reality headsets are wireless and lightweight – plus you can watch a film with a friend from the same device, even if you’re not sitting together.

It may not be long till you can even stream directly from your own Netflix account – even at 35,000 ft.

Seats that Can Learn

‘Smart seats’ will be able to analyse adjustments made to seats by passengers, with data collated to change the timings of service to fit in with passengers’ needs, while motion sensors will allow flight attendants in premium classes to refresh a passenger’s seat while they nip to the bathroom. Seats may also come with leg or arm massage sleeves.

Book your A380 flight