October 18, 2015 – Phitek Systems has won a silver award at the Best Design Awards for its Longlife Economy headphone product concept. This award follows recognition earlier this year when the design made it into the final stage of the globally prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards, which celebrate innovative aviation design.
When evaluating economy class operations, a team at Phitek identified a 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 CEO 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. We 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.”
The Longlife Economy headphones have been designed to last 120 flight sectors – which Phitek claims is 10 times the operational lifetime of the incumbent longest lasting headphones. The company took its 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 a space-saving feature for airlines for whom storage is at a premium. For the passenger, the movable ear cups allow for wider adjustment for a personalized fit.
Moody said the team also recognized the desire of airlines to brand their cabin environments and built attractive shape, color and logo options into the product design. Phitek says it is planning a flight trial of the product in Europe early next year.