The three finalists of the ‘Best Customer Journey Experience’ category of the Crystal Cabin Awards (CCA) have been named. This is a special category of the awards, which will be presented during September’s APEX Expo in Los Angeles, supplementing the main awards event in Hamburg in April. The finalists, which are being judged on the strength of their integrated solution for passengers, are the Connected Experience application from Airbus, a voice-controlled lavatory from Diehl, and light-based data transfer for Air France with ‘LiFi Power’ from Latécoère.

By Adam Gavine

The Connected Experience developed by Airbus extends the app features many people use today in their homes to do everything from controlling lighting to making cashless payments for food deliveries, and brings them into the aircraft cabin. The networked cabin system enables passengers to carry out a range of activities, from ordering their inflight meal choices to checking whether their cabin baggage will fit in the overhead locker – all via the app on their smartphones. Crew can also use the app to regulate cabin temperature and control the lighting, as well as to communicate with passengers.

The Connected Experience developed by Airbus, as demonstrated in an Airspace cabin mockup

The ‘Voice-controlled Lavatory’ from Diehl enables passengers to use the aircraft toilet without touching any surfaces or buttons, an attractive proposition for passengers with restricted mobility and for the hygiene-conscious. From flushing the WC to operating the trash can, all essential aspects of the lavatory can be controlled by voice commands in several languages. The modular design of the system means it can easily be retrofitted – though not quite as easy as saying “Turn on the water tap”.

The ‘Voice-controlled Lavatory’ from Diehl benefits PRMs and germ-conscious passengers

Latécoère’s ‘LiFi Power’ entry was presented at this year’s Paris Air Show, a system that transmits data using light. According to the company, with this system crew communication could soon be wireless, and data transmission speeds up to 100-times that achieved using conventional wiring, enabling new possibilities for passenger entertainment and connectivity. Air France has already integrated this innovation in one of its cabins.

Latécoère’s ‘LiFi Power’ system could enable new IFE capabilities

This category in the Crystal Cabin Awards operates outside the regular entry phase, and will be presented on 9 September as part of the APEX Awards at the APEX Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade fairs in Los Angeles. The award ceremony in LA also ushers in the new submission phase for the eight main categories of the Crystal Cabin Awards, to be presented in Hamburg on 31 March 2020. Amongst the winners in 2019 were renowned industry suppliers including Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Recaro and United Airlines.

A possible network setup for the Connected Experience, developed by Airbus