Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Touchscreen IFE PCU (Passenger Control Unit) allowing contextual creation of buttons

Current Passenger Control Units (PCUs) combine many different functions into the smallest possible package. This approach has arisen from the difficulty of installing electronic equipment into seats that were not designed to take it. Unfortunately the small packaging results in many design compromises that can make the unit difficult to use and somewhat daunting for inexperienced travellers.

Many airlines would like to develop unique PCUs, which reflect their cabin interior styling and customised content. The cost of development of tailored units has so far proved to be too great for most airlines to pursue this option.

The ANAIS tested demonstrates the use of a touch screen PCU. The use of "softkeys" means that the look and functionality of the device can be reconfigured in software. Thus, when a passenger selects "telephone" he is presented with a display resembling a familiar telephone keypad. Similar screens can be developed for audio/video control, seat control etc.

The creative use of graphics and colour allows the airlines to fully customise the product. Development costs are minimised by using a "common core" touch screen, but packaging can be varied. For instance, the unit could be an integral part of the seat arm or could be a standalone handset tethered on a cable.

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United Kingdom
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