I tend to be pretty in to tech, though I am admittedly not the most tech savvy person. One of the things I love to read about is what new awesome tech toys are being unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas – and this year’s CES even included a new premium cabin seat to check out!
At CES this year Panasonic unveiled their high-tech business class seat which included a things like a massive 24 inch ultra high definition 4K screen, wireless inductive charging and which was all controlled by an iPhone app.
All of this was put into B/E Aerospace’s already fantastic reverse herringbone style seat.
Panasonic calls the seat the “Waterfront” and it was created in collaboration with seat maker B/E Aerospace and design firm Teague. The seat also includes a sliding suite-style door for ultimate privacy.
Once you settle into your seat, all you do is aim your own smartphone at the ultra high definition screen and take a picture to connect.
“Light ID” technology is used to establish a connection between the Waterfront system and your phone.
What is even cooler is that if you have previously flown with the airline and connected your smartphone to their system, the Waterfront system keeps things like what shows you have watched and what drinks and snacks you like to order stored so you can easily access those items.
Once connected to the Waterfront system, you can use your smartphone to control the entire system from watching tv…
To ordering food and drinks…
To even adjusting things like the lighting at your seat!
One of the other things that I absolutely love is the ability to set sleep and privacy preferences from your smartphone.
According to Panasonic, the Waterfront system even includes individually adjustable heating in the seat cushions, as well as airflow around the walls and footwell so each individual passenger can adjust their seat to their preferred temperature.
When your flight lands, your smartphone will provide information about the destination you are arriving at and even reminds you to check the seat for any items you may have left behind!
So what happens if you are like my dad and still rocking a Motorola Razr flip phone? No problem! The Waterfront can be controlled using a tablet which acts as the wireless controller for the seat.
So when will all of this become available? Well, unfortunately, you may never actually see the Waterfront on a commercial aircraft as it is still in its infancy with Panasonic. Word is that if it were to be sold to the airlines, it would not be ready for operational installation until sometime in 2019. The Waterfront does, however, demonstrate what is possible with technology on aircraft today though and I certainly look forward to seeing what the next big thing in premium cabin tech is!
While this technology is not something that we are going to see in the next year or two, I think it does show what the future of air travel in premium cabins may be like. When you consider that not even 10 years ago the standard recliner seat in business or first class was still a common sight, so it is safe to say that we have already come a long way.
What has been your favorite tech while flying in a premium cabin?