Written for APEX Experience Magazine – Issue 10.2 – April/May 2020
In a marriage of technological prowess, Lufthansa Technik and LG Electronics have joined forces to transform the way we see cabin class dividers.
AERQ, a partnership that links LG Electronics’ organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology with Lufthansa Technik’s knowledge of cabin hardware certification and installation, has led to the development of a product that wouldn’t be out of place in a science fiction movie.
The transparent class divider displays content on an embedded OLED screen that appears suspended in midair, thanks to the high transparency of the quarter-inch-thick divider. “It can be used for various purposes, mainly to incorporate an airline’s corporate branding; show advertisements, flight information and moving maps; and even gaming,” says Sangsoo Lee, a managing director at the joint venture. “It gives the airline the opportunity to integrate content seamlessly into its cabin environment.”
OLED display technology has found its way into high-end smartphones and televisions, used to create ultra-thin screens that don’t require a backlight, as do older-tech LCD screens. The transparent cabin divider is a first-of-its-kind product that takes advantage of OLED’s durability, low power consumption and high-quality display output. With a tempered front glass, passengers and crew will be kept safe from inadvertent contact with the screen, and the robust nature of OLEDs will keep the divider operating reliably.
AERQ (the name is a portmanteau of aero and IQ) is based in Hamburg’s aerospace hub, where in addition to its Crystal Cabin Award-shortlisted transparent class divider, it is working on “a passenger experience product line that includes a new approach to cabin entertainment systems,” says Jan-Peter Gänse, also a managing director at the joint venture.
“We saw great potential in the market and a need to bring state-of-the-art technology on board aircraft,” Gänse says. “Together, we are able to use expertise from both sides to create innovations, work with maximum agility and build synergies.”
And that “Q” in AERQ doesn’t just reflect the partnership’s intelligence, according to Gänse. “We also like the reference to the character Q from the James Bond movies, a mastermind in his category.”