New seat offers in-flight gaming cocoon

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The Independent Travel

For hardcore gamers, commercial flights can be painful. Stuck in a seat with only a handheld console or primitive in-flight gaming system to pass the time, no connectivity and tiny screens - it's almost a wonder that until now, no one's thought of a solution.

Fortunately, some of the major companies responsible for designing aircraft interiors will come together this week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, to discuss how we'll be flying in the future.

Although many of the innovations will focus on weight, or comfort, the show's more outlandish concepts offer a - somewhat incredible - look at what could be on long-haul flights, if designers and gamers had their way.

Take the "Not for Wimps" seat by Contour Aerospace and Factorydesign, for example. With a lightweight, futuristic design, it not only looks the part but also includes integrated speakers and a state-of-the-art monitor suspended by a Kevlar "arm."

The companies say that it reflects social changes in the way passengers want to spend their time on board, and while it's designed as a gaming seat, it could also become a docking station for travelers who want to use their own devices.

Best of all, the cocoon-like pod features active noise cancellation, drowning out the engine noise to give gamers their own little slice of heaven at 35,000 feet.

It's a concept designed to provoke discussion in the industry, and space requirements mean it would only really work in business class, but even economy passengers could be seeing some funky new in-flight entertainment options.

Also at the show, B/E Aerospace will be showcasing its new Pinnacle seat, which features an integrated iPad to keep passengers connected with technology they're familiar with wherever they are.

IFE Services will also be showing off its in-flight gaming solution using Sony's Playstation Portable, already in service with Thomas Cook and several US airlines, which can be used for gaming as well as movies and TV shows.

The show runs April 5-7, and you can catch up with all the latest announcements at http://www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com or by following the event on Twitter.

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