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Thales unveils massive 21.3-inch touchscreens for economy airplane seats

by Jacob Kleinman | April 6, 2016April 6, 2016 12:40 pm PST

It’s easier than ever to keep yourself distracted on an airplane thanks to mobile devices, Wi-Fi and improved in-flight entertainment experiences. But a new setup unveiled this week at the Passenger Experience Conference in Germany could actually have us looking forward to our next flight.

Spotted by The Points Guy, these massive 21.3-inch HD touchscreen displays may one day be installed in the back of economy-class seats. Thales Digital Sky offers everything you’d expect from an in-flight display, just on a much bigger scale. That includes plenty of reading material, movies and TV shows, a live map and the option to explore your destination ahead of time.

TPG notes that the design doesn’t take up any extra legroom. It even leaves some space at the bottom of the seat for a tray table to flip out. The LCD displays are also apparently purchased off-the-shelf, which should help keep prices down.

Unfortunately, this is a just a prototype for now, and the company hasn’t actually partnered with any airlines to bring these giant touchscreens to the skies. Thales does have solid industry connections, though, previously working with United and Qatar Airways among other airlines, so anything is possible.

TPG The Verge

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...