Editor’s comment: A flexible view

Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

Back in January this year, LG wowed attendees at CES in Las Vegas with a 90-foot-long LG OLED Canyon immersive installation featuring 246 LG Open Frame OLED displays, in concave and convex configurations.

The South Korean electronics company’s OLED technology uses self-lighting pixels for exact control of image brightness and image quality, and with no separate light source the displays are extremely lightweight, thin and flexible. Understandably, LG is bullish about its commercial potential: “Using this unique technology, LG Open Frame OLED displays for business-to-business applications are able to flex for a truly customisable approach that is both a work of art and functional digital signage.”

Now it seems, the technology is being explored for use in an aircraft cabin environment.

Shenzen-based Royole Corporation is joining forces with Airbus China Innovation Centre to develop applications that implement flexible electronic technologies in various environments and investigate the possibilities for commercial co-operation.

Royole has already brought a number of “world’s firsts” to market: The world’s thinnest full-colour AMOLED flexible displays and flexible sensors in 2014; the world’s first foldable 3D mobile theatre in 2015; the world’s first curved car dashboard based on flexible electronics in 2016; and this year unveiled the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone with a fully flexible display, the FlexPai.

Together with Airbus, the two companies will investigate how to integrate Royole’s Flexible+ Platform, which includes Flexible Display Technology and Flexible Sensor Technology – the latter of which is fully compatible with flexible and traditional applications and delivers a bending radius of just 1–3 mm that is operational even after 200,000 bends – into the aircraft cabin.

Whether this is aimed at commercial or business aircraft (think V-VIP) time will tell.

The days of an aircraft cabin offering a truly immersive experience by delivering a full HD 1080p resolution, over 3,000 PPI (pixels per inch), ultra-high contrast ratio, and blistering fast image response time, may be some time away, but a futurised, digitalised and personalised flight experience is coming and when it does it’s going to be flexible.


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