astronics technology aviation wireless charging tray airplane
Credit: Courtesy of Astronics

The one thing travelers might want even more than cheap airfare is power — for their devices.

As airlines gradually add new aircraft and retrofit their existing fleets with power outlets, passengers can expect a future where they'll never have to worry about charging their smartphones, tablets, and other devices. But power outlets aren't the only thing in the works.

According to Runway Girl Network, Astronics Advanced Electronics Systems has created a new wireless charging system that could be installed on tray tables — even in economy.

“If you get on an airplane and look around, who is charging? Everybody, not just first and business,” Mark Peabody, president at Astronics Advanced Electronics Systems, told RGN.

The wireless holder, developed with SmartTray, would be a welcome alternative to what economy passengers typically find now: Either no outlets, or outlets practically hidden underneath their seats.

Astronics expects the changes to take time, of course, but customer demand could drive airlines to move quickly.

“Over the next year to two years, I think what we’ll see on the ground is proliferation of charging spots,” Peabody told RGN. “What you see on the ground is what you expect in the air not long after.”