How the Meal Tray Got Its Groove Back: Kaelis Serves Up an Appetizing Device Holder


Image: Kaelis

Kaelis has developed a two-in-one product that merges a device holder with a meal tray, and removes the obstacle between eating your lunch and enjoying your entertainment, too.

Kaelis, a supplier of airline amenity kits, tableware and textiles, has developed a two-in-one solution for serving in-flight meals and entertainment, simultaneously. Called Bassú (a name based on an acronym that loosely stands for “Being Alone Solo You”), the meal tray captures what Kaelis marketing designer Rocio Cordoba says people do when they travel alone, which is “we usually reach out to our phones or tablets.”

The idea developed after one of the company’s team members was enjoying an episode of his favorite series on a flight when a crewmember arrived with lunch, forcing him to find a place for his device – but “there was no comfortable way of placing the device while enjoying the meal!” That’s when Kaelis’ meal tray found its groove.

The patented design features a slot on the tray’s edge that has been tested to comfortably hold a smartphone even through light turbulence. While the tray is not yet in use in the air, it has attracted some attention since being introduced at World Traveling Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) in April.

Cordoba says Bassú is a simple and effective solution for flights where seatback screens are not available and at least one meal is served. And as some airlines have opted to deliver entertainment on consumer devices, there is a need for tablet and smartphone holders. These are usually found integrated with seatbacks, tray tables and as detachable clips, but none so far have been designed as part of a meal tray.

“A great majority of us use our device on board to watch a movie, listen to music or read, and that requires us to use at least one of our hands. Bassú allows one to continue their entertainment or work, hands-free, during meal service. It resolves the issue of not being able to use your ‘me time’ during meal time,” Cordoba says.

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