Aircraft Cabin Management

Imagik boss welcomes adoption of USB-C PD common device charging port

Imagik is celebrating 30 years supplying reliable and affordable cabin electronics. Chief executive Pablo Vadillo discusses the trends in aircraft passenger device power supplies

One of the most significant trends in aircraft passenger device power supply is the move towards USB charging ports.

In the past, airlines primarily used in-seat power supplies that required proprietary charging cables.

However, with the growing prevalence of USB devices, airlines are increasingly switching to USB charging ports that are compatible with a wide range of devices.

The adoption of USB-C PD as the common charging port is gaining momentum not just in Europe, due to the EU Common Charger Directive (2022/2380) for small and medium-sized portable electronic devices, but also globally.

In fact, even Apple, which has long been known for its proprietary Lightning connector, is starting to make the switch to USB-C PD.

Moreover, Apple’s move towards USB-C PD may also encourage other manufacturers to follow suit.

As one of the leading players in the electronics industry, Apple’s adoption of the standard is likely to have a significant impact on the market.

Overall, the adoption of USB-C PD as the common charging port is a positive development for the electronics industry as it is likely that we will see a reduction in electronic waste, and improved convenience and cost savings for consumers.

USB Type-C PD chargers can deliver up to 100 watts of power, although on aircraft, due to the limited power available, we limit this through design to 60W – still significantly more than the 10-15W that USB A ports typically provide.

This increased power capacity means that USB C PD chargers can charge laptops, tablets and smartphones much faster than traditional USB A chargers while in flight.

Wireless charging

Another trend in aircraft passenger device power supply is the integration of wireless charging technology, allowing passengers to simply place their device on a charging pad.

While wireless charging is not yet as widespread as USB charging, we can expect to see more airlines adopt this technology in the coming years.

Finally, airlines are also focusing on improving the reliability and consistency of their power supplies.

Many airlines struggled to provide consistent power to all their passengers, leading to anxiety, frustration and inconvenience for those with dead or low batteries.

Today, airlines are investing in more powerful and reliable power supplies that can ensure all passengers have access to the power they need throughout the duration of the flight.

In conclusion, the trends in aircraft passenger device power supply and USB C power delivery are clear. Airlines are increasingly adopting USB charging.

ports, with a focus on USB C PD technology that delivers fast and efficient charging. Wireless charging is also gaining popularity in premium seating products, and airlines are investing in more reliable and consistent power supplies to ensure that all passengers have access to the power they need.

With these trends in mind, passengers can expect a more convenient and efficient charging experience while in-flight.

Game-changing tech

Imagik International Corporation has been refining its product range ahead of the market trends. Our multi-patented iPD (Intelligent Power Delivery) technology is a power management system.

This makes us the only company to have the ability to offer real power management in the aircraft cabin.

It manages the power supplied to each connected device, negotiating the amount of power available and distributing it to guest devices to ensure everyone has power.

The technology can also be used to generate ancillary revenue by offering the higher power choices via a paywall.

A major difference in the way we design our power system is that the power conversion and control are accomplished at the PSU level.

This means our outlets are much smaller and do not need the added heat dissipation design that some of our competitors must build in.

It also reduces the costs of the USB outlet, helping our customers with the total cost of ownership. Our USB outlet LRUs are typically half the unit price of competing products.

That can save a lot of money given the life of a system across a fleet of aircraft.

Our design methodology also means that the wiring harnesses are lower gauge and lighter which saves a lot of weight across an aircraft shipset, reducing fuel consumption and carbon footprint.

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