Emirates gives vote of confidence to VR seat mapping software

Spanish software developers, Renacen, had plenty to celebrate during the Aircraft Interiors Expo after winning the Visionary Concepts category of the Crystal Cabin Awards for its 3D SeatMapVR visualization engine enabling customers to get a real sense of sitting in the cabin before booking.

The company also announced that Emirates Airline will be the first airline globally to use 3DSeatMapVR to highlight product features and immerse travelers in the passenger experience before take-off by deploying Renacen’s technology across all digital channels.

3DSeatMapVR is unique in that it offers an immersive 3D 360º of the cabin from the seated perspective of whatever seat a passenger chooses. In this way, it offers a better appreciation of seat features and cabin decor and can help to boost ancillary sales through comparison of extra-legroom seats or premium seats.

The software can run on all platforms—desktop and mobile—and is web browser-based so it doesn’t require any complex integrations or software installs on the passenger device. While the system can work as a 360º view, passengers can also explore the cabin in Virtual Reality using VR glasses like Google cardboard.

Technology is playing a greater role in defining and marketing the cabin experience, as reflected by the mix of exhibitors at AIX and the winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards this year.

IFE company BlueBox Aviation Systems won an award in the newly introduced Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity category for a revolutionary system that makes on-board entertainment accessible to the visually impaired. The system is already flying with Virgin Atlantic.

Airbus and Altran won a prize for a new Printed Electronics process which would allow cable harnesses for cabin electronics to be printed on cabin surfaces. The two companies jointly developed the technology at Hamburg’s ZAL TechCenter.

Other short-listed technologies included a “Lifi” proposal by the University of Edinburgh, which would distribute connectivity throughout the cabin using cabin lighting features instead of Wi-Fi transmitters. Lifi offers security advantages because the connection is only within range of the light spot beam. VT Militope also earned a place in the short-list with a security software for wireless cabin networks which would better protect users of in-flight connectivity systems from interference by bad actors onboard.

Students from the University of Cincinnati and Boeing also earned a short-list placement for development of a hologram surface that would allow passengers to interact with the cabin in a virtual extended space.

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