Competition Results: Teams and concepts

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Team feel.flight

Natalie Peter, Carla Janson, Ansgar Schmidt, Sandra Stark, Kai Peter

The center of the communication context is a chatbot (artificial intelligence = AI) that can be addressed by most of the widely-used messenger apps. The chatbot is capable of classifying passenger needs, arranging them hierarchically, and deriving appropriate actions. If a passenger wants to find out more about the destination, for example, the chatbot answers by consolidating information from the Internet. For existential needs such as fear of flying, as well as requests for food or drinks, it gets a flight attendant involved. Their uniforms have small displays integrated in the cuffs, which are connected to microcontrollers and thus with the AI.

The physically perceptible level is served by an extensible in-flight entertainment system in the display of the facing seat-back. This is where the feel.flight menu is displayed and can be controlled using the distributed smart devices: passengers can adjust their electric blankets to their individual needs, for example, or request to be woken gently by a vibrating neck pillow. feel.flight has also integrated flight slippers equipped with special pressure sensors and connected them with the on-board server via WiFi. Flight passengers can tap their toes or heels on the ground to control computer games, which is fun and promotes blood circulation.

Panel opinion:

feel.flight has used many modern information and manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, laser cutting, digitally supported Jacquard weaves, and even artificial intelligence. The team has succeeded in developing advanced prototypes in an extremely short period of time. Further development toward market readiness does not seem unrealistic. Thanks to the different elements, individual components such as the blanket could also be spun off and piloted

Team Lyra

Orkhan Amiraslanov, Bo Zhou, Jonas Auda, Matthias Hoppe, Pascal Knierim, Katarzyna Janaszek, Artur Keska, Christian Mock, Alex Roznowski, Marius Roznowski

The "LYRA Connect" web application improves communications between passengers and the flight crew. It minimizes routing and optimizes in-plane service.

Passengers can use their own mobile devices to send requests easily to the flight crew. The web application works on any mobile device – on smartphones, tablet PCs, and laptops – and is platform-independent, without any installation or download. Passengers can use it to order drinks, for example, or ask whether they will make their connecting flights. The next available flight attendant sees a request directly in their field of vision, on smart glasses, and knows who asked or ordered what and when.

The flight attendants can call up additional information about passengers by standing next to a location beacon. Location beacons are signal areas that are affixed to the floor in front of every seat. LYRA then displays the corresponding information discretely on the flight attendant's data glasses (Google Glass or ZEISS Smart Optics). As a result, the flight attendant can find out which language a passenger speaks, for example, or which meal preferences they specified.

Panel opinion:

LYRA connects a variety of devices to set up a kind of "mini-Internet" within the aircraft that is fully functional even offline. The system is plug-and-play, which means its deployment on board is not complex. The challenge the team faced was to reduce the complexity posed by the different devices using the app and create an intuitive interface for flight attendants and passengers in the end. If the connected hardware solutions prove feasible, the system would be immediately deployable.

Team Smart Chair

Melanie Maucksch, Ronja Kappe, Roman Knipping-Sorokin, Chiara Brodersen, Juan Alberto Cabrera Guerrero, Frank Fitzek, Máté Tömösközi

The Smart Chair project is more of a conceptual study than a prototype. It focuses on passengers' personal space on long-haul flights. They will enjoy a fully customized flight experience in their Smart Chairs – from entertainment program to personal comfort. In addition to ergonomics, aspects of technology, sustainability, and individual customer needs are also addressed.


The most conspicuous feature is the foldable head display, which completely screens off the passenger, creating a personal space. In addition, several features are concealed in the seat. Since the curved OLED screens envisioned in the concept do not yet exist in the required size, the team had to use alternatives to simulate the desired effects. As such, the head display presented on the flight was equipped with a tablet and concealed with a film that can be switched from opaque to transparent. This is done using a thin, inner LCD layer that reacts to electrical currents.


The Smart Chair team also worked on a new outfit for cabin personnel. The fabrics used to make the prototype uniforms are thermoregulated, breathable, antibacterial, and antiallergic. As such, they stand up to the high demands of flight attendant workwear.


Panel opinion:

The project is largely visionary – a lack of market-ready technologies prevents implementation in the short term. While flexible OLED displays are being tested and will soon be market-ready, several years will pass before they reach the mass market. The same applies to the described smart materials, which cannot perform mechanical tasks reliably to the described extent. The chances for the heatable substances are considered better. All the same, several safety-relevant hurdles have to be passed before they can be approved for use on planes.


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