Inflight entertainment could see a huge boost thanks to OLED screens. LG recently unveiled an inflight entertainment product designed for use within aircraft. These OLED screens would offer a completely different kind of inflight entertainment than most are familiar with onboard aircraft.
While most people come to think of inflight entertainment as a small seatback screen that may have decent quality. However, Emirates, onboard Boeing 777 aircraft, has pioneered the use of virtual windows for middle-section First Class seats. These virtual windows display the view outside of the aircraft as seen by a camera in the middle seats to give the impression of a window seat. Although, some companies are ready to take this further.
LG unveils OLED displays
Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, 2020 in Las Vegas, South Korean company, LG Display, announced that the company will introduce brand new OLED displays designed for use in various settings– including in airplanes. These 55-inch OLED displays installed within the walls of a plane are designed to give the cabin a more open feeling.
In addition, LG Display is also unveiling a 65-inch Bendable OLED display that adjusts to the curvature of the aircraft or the passenger’s wish. While this concept is great, LG Display is highlighting this technology as one to “elevate the First-Class experience”. Ultimately, this is quite reminiscent of the new Emirates First Class Suite rather than one designed for all passengers.
Lastly, the company is also unveiling a Transparent OLED display. This display is not fully transparent, rather, only allows 40 percent transparency. This would make for a neat partition between seats or a cabin. However, if passengers wish for more privacy, then they can turn off the transparency feature. A neat use for this would be in a seat like Lufthansa First Class where the partition could display soothing or calming images, a flight tracker, or whatever else while a passenger reclines in the lie-flat position. Or, between middle seats, act as a buffer between two passengers.
Could OLED displays take over inflight entertainment?
While Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX dominates the news, the aircraft manufacturer is also moving towards the first flight of the first Boeing 777X. And, alongside, the manufacturer is also looking at ways to implement new technology within the aircraft cabin. Onboard the 777 ecoDemonstrator, Boeing teased OLED screens within the cabin.
You just might see this on a future flight. Take a look at some of the new OLED displays we are testing on our #ecoDemonstrator 777 as we design a better flying experience, both outside and inside the airplane.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) December 2, 2019
For many passengers, inflight entertainment either includes TV shows or movies downloaded to one’s device or else a proper, on-demand seatback screen. However, some of these technologies are either difficult to use during meal services or else getting a little outdated.
OLED displays would be a way for airlines to offer a new kind of inflight entertainment. Mounted on the walls or ceiling of a cabin, this could offer passengers new views of the outdoors inflight. In a smaller format, airlines could upgrade inflight entertainment to OLED screens. While some airlines have gone about doing away with seatback screens, these one-day could be must-haves for ultra-long-haul travel. Although, ultimately, it is up to airlines to decide whether or not to introduce OLED screens inside an aircraft cabin.
It is amazing to see how inflight entertainment has evolved over time. In the early days of flying, the views from the air were more than enough. From there, airlines moved toward overhead screens in the cabin (some airlines still have these!). And then, personal on-demand seatback screens appeared and, in some cases, then started to disappear. However, as OLED displays are starting to be designed for aircraft cabins, it remains to be seen whether airlines will add these onboard aircraft. Although, these certainly would be huge upgrades and may revolutionize the inflight entertainment experience.
What do you think about the future of OLED screens onboard aircraft? Would you want to see these screens onboard a plane? Let us know in the comments!