Cobalt Aerospace is reflecting “remarkable” importance from commercial airlines as being known to be the world’s first wireless mobile phone charging solution for aircraft interiors. The company is striving to firmly set on fortifying line fit offer ability for the units. Each individual unit is small and light sufficient to be assembled into tray tables, arm rests or side ledges within the cabin. Passengers merely place their smartphones on the surface and the device is charged without the need to plug it in.
The charging solution is official and flying on VIP Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft, but Cobalt Aerospace president Dan Rust says that since presenting the units at this year’s show he has seen “lots of interest” from commercial airlines. Consultations are ongoing with anonymous probable commercial airline customers. One seat maker has joined the units into its product and is “putting it through testing” with Airbus. Doing so in anticipation of being able to build the solution into its seats in the factory. Rust says line fit offer ability is “the way we want to go”.
Samsung and Google Nexus phones now incorporate the technology to communicate with Cobalt’s wireless charger. Rust says it is rumored that the Apple iPhone 8 will follow suit. At 160g per unit, the devices are similar with average USB in-seat charging units, but they have the benefit of being hardier. “USB sockets get broken – children put bits of play-doh in them. With this, there’s nothing to break and you can’t get water on it,” says Rust. Economically, he says that “if you’re buying a reasonable volume from us it’s about the same cost as a good quality USB charging unit”.
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