Posted on: 15 October 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Phitek Systems’ Longlife Economy headphones have been recognised with a Silver award at the recent annual New Zealand Best Design Awards. The award came in the category Best Product Design: Concept/Experimental.
tEvaluating economy class operations, Phitek realised the need to design entertainment hardware for an ‘industrial’ level of use. Economy headphones typically last between six and 12 flight sectors – the equivalent of five to seven days. As a result, complex supply chain logistics, including large-scale disposal issues, are a common problem.ttAccording to Phitek chief executive Roy Moody, it was time for a fresh look at economy headphones. “We went back to a blank sheet to re-imagine the economy headphone. Phitek wanted to deliver the long operational lifetime our customers have come to expect from us as well as clever design features that benefit airlines and passengers.”ttThe response was Longlife Economy headphones, which have been designed to last 120 flight sectors. Audio is transmitted by incorporating audio transmission along the headband itself. A swiping contact is built into the ear cup enabling audio transmission, regardless of where the ear cup is on the band of the headphones.ttIn a design twist, the headphones have ear cups that turn to facilitate flat and efficient storage of the headphones, providing space-saving for airlines for whom storage is at a premium. For the passenger, the movable ear cups allow for wider adjustment for a personalised fit.ttMoody said the team also recognised the desire of airlines to brand their cabin environments and built attractive shape, colour and logo options into the product design.ttPhitek is planning a flight trial of the product in Europe early next year.t