PGA Electronic, a specialist in cabin equipment, brought some new technology to the NBAA show and is exhibiting optical fibers for mood lighting, a new reading light and super-thin flat screens.
The optical fibers are dubbed Be-Bop’tic and should be available early next year; the products displayed here by PGA (Booth No. N831) are prototypes. These flexible fibers can form curved lines of colored light throughout the cabin. “Compared to LEDs, optical fibers don’t heat and are easier to install, thanks to better flexibility and resistance,” Antoine Mergot, motion and lighting systems marketing manager, told AIN. Each controller unit controls up to four fibers, each 6.5-feet long. Mergot added that Be-Bop’tic saves weight and power consumption.
The Châteauroux, France-based company claims to have found a way for an optical fiber to provide homogeneous light from one end to the other. All colors and dimming scenarios are available. In addition, an ambient light sensor enables the system to adapt its intensity, depending on whether the cabin is brightly lighted or in shadow. Be-Bop’tic can be controlled via an iPad, has better reliability than LEDs and is tough enough to be part of the floor, Mergot added.
While Be-Bop’tic is in the final development stage, the company’s new Calypso reading light will be delivered soon to Air Canada for some of its business-class seats. PGA is offering the Calypso for business jets, too. The Calypso light is flush with the seat when switched off and turning it on allows the light to be used for reading or when having a meal. The passenger can orient the Calypso 30 degrees to the left or to the right. Although, at 900 lux, its light intensity is quite high, the Calypso requires less than one watt of power, Mergot said. Several finishes and colors are available.
PGA is also showcasing its new Xtra Flat Screen–less than two inches in depth–available in sizes from 32 to 55 inches. “They are lighter, easier to install and need less power [than typical screens],” said Nicolas Duchéron, IFE, connectivity and cabin management system product manager. The Xtra displays supply full HD images at 1080p and 400 Hz of motion rate. The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology enables a passenger to share content from his own device onto the screens he has selected, using the cabin’s WiFi network. In addition, the new screens are compact, so a 46-inch screen can almost fit into a 42-inch screen housing, according to Duchéron. The same level of technology is available on a smaller range of touch screens, from 12.4 to 21.5 inches in 16:9 widescreen format.
Finally, PGA plans to offer global entertainment servers in early 2014, based entirely on the Internet protocol for easier implementation, hardware simplicity and power savings.