University of Twente Student Theses


Design of a wearable for use in an aircraft cabin

Bruhn, M. (2017) Design of a wearable for use in an aircraft cabin.

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Abstract:The aim of the assignment was to create a wearable for use in an aircraft cabin, offering valuable functionalities to the user for the aerospace developer Zodiac Aerospace. In the beginning, the target group and the problem to be solved were open. Therefore, research on the potential target group as well as on existing wearables has been done. The target group research included interviews with some flight attendants and pilots, and a survey about passengers’ experiences on board of an aircraft. After this, it was decided that pilots are not a suited target group since they do not have any problems which might be solved by a wearable. However, there still were some possibilities left to design a product. The first one was to design a device that helps to prevent the spread of illnesses on an aircraft. The second possibility was to design a wearable that helps people to overcome their nervousness about flying. The third idea was to design a device that helps passengers to improve their sleeping behavior during a flight; and the last idea was to design a wearable for the cabin crew. In the next phase, concept ideas were generated for the ideas mentioned before. For the device to be used by the cabin crew potentials for functionalities were examined based on wearables that already have been tested on an aircraft, the scope of duties of a flight attendant as well as problems that sometimes occur during their work. Afterwards, it was decided to go on with the idea to design a wearable for the cabin crew. As a next step, this idea has been more worked out to become a full concept and also it was chosen to integrate the functions into a smartwatch. It was decided to design an own smartwatch that could be developed by Zodiac Aerospace to ensured that the product is designed in exactly the way how the company wants it to be. The last step was to examine solutions for the functions of the device and additionally, to design the looks of the device. The functions of the designed smartwatch are: 1. Not fastened seat belts or open bins must be highlighted. 2. The device must inform the flight attendants if and where a drink or meal is available when it is lacking in the corresponding trolley. 3. The device must provide flight attendants with information on the flight, workshops and emergency cases. 4. The device must provide flight attendants with information on that someone made an order and who ordered what when passing their seat. For the first function sensors are integrated into the passengers’ seats and the bins. The system recognizes open bins and unfastened seat belts and informs the flight attendants. For the second function the flight attendants can check where a certain meal or drink can be replaced by using the application stock inspection. They can look up the corresponding item and then it is displayed where the item can be replaced. The third function is meant for the unlikely event that there is an emergency on board and a flight attendant has a blackout. Then, it can be looked up what to do in the application database. There, it can be searched for a certain keyword or a chapter can be selected. For the last function the device informs the flight attendant about orders that have been made by displaying a text message and a screen in the galley shows the details on the orders. While handing out the items, the smartwatch displays the location of the flight attendant and of the passengers who ordered something. When arriving at the right seat the device vibrates and displays the corresponding item. To conclude, using the device helps to perform the procedures mentioned before more efficiently and the service is improved. Therefore, the wearable does not only offer valuable functionalities to the user but also to the passengers. The design of the smartwatch is simple and functional. The screen is quite big to ensure that the displayed text can easily be read. For a comfortable fit, the wristband is relatively wide and the bottom side of the smartwatch is curved to adapt to the form of the wearer’s wrist. The smartwatch can be sold or leased to airlines in order to earn money with it. It is interesting for the airlines since it helps to improve the passenger experience and makes the work of flight attendants more convenient. Right now, the device is designed to have four functions. In the future, the range of functions could be expanded. For inspiration, observations of the work of flight attendants as well as additional interviews could be made. Additionally, it should be tested if the cabin crew enjoys working with the device and if they are satisfied with its handling. Moreover, passengers could be asked how they experience the service when the device is used. Also, for manufacturing, a material and the production technique must be chosen. Additionally, it must be checked which supplier is going to deliver which materials and parts, and what the estimated costs are.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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