UPDATE – Jan. 29: FareCompare spoke with Nick Pajic and Brian Queenin – respectively the CEO and President of SmartTray International – who said they expect at least some U.S. airline passengers will find these innovative tray table tops at their seats beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
Jan. 28: The headline writer of a recent travel article may have been engaging in a wee bit of hyperbole with this blazing banner: “This new airline seat-back tray could change flying forever.” We all know that only free flights and no bag fees will change flying forever, but the SmartTray is a nifty innovation. Now we just have to hope the airlines agree.
What is the SmartTray
It’s a beautifully simple idea: The SmartTray is a seatback tray table with a slot for your tablet so you don’t have to sit there like a lump holding it up. Plus, there’s plenty of room on the tray table so you can multi-task – you can watch your iPad while flipping through the latest SkyMallcatalogue or enjoy a refreshing beverage.
UPDATE: As SmartTray executives told FareCompare, the X-1 model can even prevent damage to an electronic device due to spills because the groove the device sits in is raised above the level of the rest of the tray table surface.
VIDEO: Skip ahead to 1:15 to see the SmartTray in action.
But Will the Airlines Give Us SmartTrays
The folks at SmartTray believe they will, beginning in the latter part of this year, and they are in ongoing discussions with airlines around the world. They also told us it only takes about a minute to swap out an ordinary tray table top and replace it with the SmartTray. But you tell us: Is the SmartTray smart or not?