Work / Thales & Collins Aerospace

Imagining the future of in-flight entertainment 

With the rise of inflight connectivity and passengers bringing their own devices onboard, the supremacy of seatback In-flight entertainment has become threatened. From this dilemma, a three-way collaboration with IFE provider Thales, seating manufacturer Collins Aerospace and design consultancy tangerine arose to imagine what the future of in-flight entertainment could be like.


  • Product & Service Innovation
  • Industrial Design and Engineering
  • UX/UI Design
  • Prototyping and User testing


We wanted to design a concept that would protect the revenue streams for airlines and technology providers alike. The challenge was creating a solution that could enrich the end-to-end passenger journey, introduce new potential revenue streams and provide an attractive alternative to the emerging trend of passenger’s bringing their own devices.

We explored the future dimensions that would influence the customer experience. Research helped us to identify potential new features and UX interactions to design a solution that could introduce a paradigm-shift in IFE engagement, while offering something new that airlines could implement and that would take the passenger beyond the connected journey to new levels of personalisation


“Digital Sky” is a unique seat and IFE product pairing, creating a new premium product line for Economy and Premium Economy classes for Collins Aerospace while taking IFE to the next level for Thales.

We generated unique user scenarios on a large portrait digital seat-back display allowing passengers to shop, play, order, listen, explore, and watch simultaneously using a split-screen feature on the largest digital seatback surface ever.  Due to the extended screen size, tangerine created a new way for the meal table to fully extend without impacting on the passenger’s knees; where and how to stow the table, and how to deploy it at the right time.

The concept was tested with a range of users, involving state of the art eye tracking software to gain rapid feedback on usability and define opportunities for improvement.


Digital Sky made the leap from drawing board to virtual ‘onboard’ in seven months, with 8 working seat prototypes being developed that featured a range of UX scenarios for demonstration to customers at the Aircraft Interiors International Expo in Hamburg.

22.5” HD touchscreen in portrait orientation gave images 5 times larger than current displays at the time. The concept also considers future-proofing of the seat structure and certification process, through the easy upgrade of the display technology and software.

Digital Sky was created to increase passenger engagement onboard, open new revenue streams for manufacturers, operators and retailers alike by taking advantage of advances in onboard connectivity which are changing the way we fly.