New Projector Technology by DIEHL Aerosystems Lets Carriers Customize Their Cabins
As new aircraft continue to join fleets around the world, new cabin options like mood and atmosphere lighting, larger in-flight entertainment screens and self-cleaning hygienic lavatories are becoming familiar features for frequent flyers.
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg a few weeks ago, I spoke with DIEHL Aerosystems, which was in town showcasing its Dandelion Projection-Enabled Flight Experience, basically a high-tech projector that can virtually transform the walls of an airplane cabin into anything the carrier wants it to be. An aquarium at 35,000 feet? Sure. Take a look at the video below for a closer look at what this new technology can do.
Pictures and moving images are projected onto the ceiling, overhead bins and bulkheads and partitions, creating a unique environment in the cabin and giving airlines the ability to quickly and easily change the appearance of a cabin for a charter flight, for instance. The new tech can also be used to make the boarding process faster, more relaxed and more efficient by displaying different appearances for different areas of the aircraft, perfect for a low-cost carrier with a premium section of the cabin, but no class divider or cabin partitions, which is a common issue on these types of airlines. Additionally, baggage space within the overhead storage compartments could also be displayed so FAs wouldn't need to open the bin to check for available space inside.
Of course, this also means there are obvious advertising opportunities for the airline, but like my video above demonstrates, the projector can be used to provide a pleasant in-flight atmosphere or get people excited for their trip. Would I want to have flashy Las Vegas-themed scenarios displayed throughout my night-flight to Las Vegas? No. Similarly, would I want a virtual aquarium to make me dizzy with fish swimming past Row 5 every few minutes? Definitely not. But is there the potential for clever use of this projector in the cabin to help create a relaxing atmosphere during boarding, to display key information before landing or to change a cabin brand for special charter flights? Definitely.
While there aren't any public airline customers of DIEHL's Dandelion Projector just yet, I think it's something low-cost carriers could look at if they were willing to invest more on a customized interior design, and perhaps use the technology to differentiate their 'zones' in the cabin.