The proliferation of wireless electronic devices has already revolutionised the operation of business jet cabin systems by taking controls out of consoles and seat arms into passengers’ hands via their smartphones and tablets.

But now companies are envisioning hands-free control of everything from music volume to dimming lights and lowering window shades.

Honeywell has developed a concept application for Google Glass that controls all systems in its Ovation Select management system. Using voice or touch commands, the device wearer can control environmental systems and media players or display aircraft diagnostics and moving maps.

“Any application now has to be controlled through an intermediary device, namely a phone or a tablet and we find that a bit cumbersome,” says Bill Rowell, Honeywell’s senior manager of business aviation cabin systems.

The system was tested by the company’s head flight attendant, who wore the device while preparing the company’s aircraft for flight. It allowed her to access information on the go while keeping both hands free.

Rowell says the app was developed to gauge customer interest, but the company is “much more enamoured” with installing a similar system on a smartwatch like Apple's iWatch which is due out in early 2015.

“We started with the tablet and then moved to the iPhone and Android devices, now the future is wearables,” he says. “Whenever the next best thing comes along, which we think will be a watch with voice command capability, we’re confident we can integrate it into our cabin."

Flight Display Systems has already taken that approach by developing a CMS app for current smartwatch designs.

“These days everyone has a multi-function panel in their hands, whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone,” says Eric Delash, a CMS specialist with Flight Display Systems. “We can already do CMS through those personal electronic devices. Now we have a concept with the idea that you could wear the controller without having anything in your hands.”

With the swipe of a finger, the watch can act as a control for lighting and sound, display films to watch on mounted or bulkhead screens or display maps and flight information.

“The concept is that we’re going for a clean-cabin design,” he says. “We want to remove any hardware that might detract from the beauty of the interior of the cabin. In this case, wi-fi is the great equalizer. As long as you have it, you can control the CMS from any device.”

Source: Flight Daily News