Leading aviation technology company, Phitek Systems has won a Silver award at the annual Best Design Awards for its Longlife Economy headphone product concept.
The award in the category Best Product Design: Concept/Experimental follows recognition earlier this year as a finalist in the globally prestigious Crystal Cabin Award, which celebrates innovative aviation design.
Evaluating economy class operations, Phitek identified a significant market challenge for airlines related to the short operational life of economy headphones. These headphones typically last between 6 and 12 flight sectors which is the equivalent of 5 to 7 days. As a result, complex supply chain logistics, including large-scale disposal issues, are a common problem.
Phitek Chief Executive Roy Moody said it was time for a fresh look at economy headphones.
“We went back to a blank sheet to re-imagine the economy headphone. Phitek wanted to deliver the long operational lifetime our customers have come to expect from us as well as clever design features that benefit airlines and passengers.”
Phitek’s award entry demonstrated how the company applied innovative design thinking to meet the market challenges airlines face in delivering entertainment hardware that can handle an ‘industrial’ level of use.
The company’s Longlife Economy headphones have been designed to last 120 flight sectors – this is 10 times the operational lifetime of the incumbent longest lasting headphones.
The company took their design further – radically rethinking how audio is transmitted by incorporating audio transmission along the headband itself. A swiping contact is built into the ear cup enabling audio transmission, no matter where the ear cup is on the band of the headphones.
Through a clever design twist, the headphones have ear cups that turn to facilitate flat and efficient storage of the headphones, providing space-saving for airlines for whom storage is at a premium. For the passenger, the movable ear cups allow for wider adjustment for a personalised fit.
Moody said the team also recognised the desire of airlines to brand their cabin environments and built attractive shape, colour and logo options into the product design.
“The award shows that Phitek doesn’t just deliver high-quality technical design; we also carefully consider the physical aesthetics in our design philosophy.”
Phitek is planning a flight trial of the product in Europe early next year.