Seating manufacturers must provide suitable charging stations within their seats to meet the needs of the modern passenger It is now at least a decade since terminal operators became aware of the early technology adopters in their gate lounges. That group of passengers who, though needing to use their laptop or mobile device around the clock, were constrained by the constant need to recharge their device. With few options available, they were often forced to cluster around the few available wall mounted electrical outlets provided for the cleaners.
At UFL International, a New Zealand-based global supplier of seating, counters and ancillary terminal equipment, engineers sought to develop an elegant, practical solution to this issue. And increasingly, as passengers transit the world’s leading airports, there are now mass seating units that include outlets for charging laptops and USB ports for handheld devices.
UFL International conducted in-depth experiments with the placement of the outlets and researched customer needs, testing options such as using the end of the beam seat for recharge outlets. Although practical from an engineering standpoint, this positioning inhibited access by multiple users. UFL then trialled placing the power supply into the beam seat armrest or into a small tower incorporated into the armrest, but this solution proved impractical as this placement corresponds to the passenger’s waistline. Also in practice it is not uncommon for a terminal operator to request mass seating without armrests, which rather negates the use of this option.
In consultation with its clients, UFL International realized the simple solution was the best solution, and chose to position the power supply underneath the seat. Physically located between each pair of seats, every waiting passenger can now access a power socket and a USB slot for device charging. This location also means servicing and maintenance is less complicated as the components are easily accessible.
UFL’s power solution can be supplied with an international socket, which is increasingly common in hotel rooms worldwide. This means charging is not dependant on the passenger traveling with the correct adaptor.
UFL can also offer the appropriate socket for a variety of countries or zones if this is the client’s preference. This solution is offered not only on the company’s mass seating products, but also on select soft seating and modular lounge furniture.
This power solution is certified in all the countries in which the company operates. It includes a thermal overload switch that can be reset should it trip. This simple, elegant solution again demonstrates UFL International’s commitment to providing up-to-the-minute solutions for today’s terminal operators.