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In-flight entertainment in the tray table

Courtesy Skycast Solutions

The TrayVu combines an in-flight entertainment system with a see-through tray.

That ugly, and often dirty, airplane tray table may soon be getting a makeover. 

The TrayVu, created by Skycast Solutions, combines an in-flight entertainment system with a see-through tray.

The TrayVu, displayed this week at the 2011 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Seattle, includes an Android tablet with an 8.9-inch screen that can be viewed through a clear section of the table when the tray is in the upright position. 

When the tray is lowered, the tablet stays connected but flips up to allow full use of the space on the tray.

“You can multi-task, maybe eat or work on your own laptop while having a movie running on the tablet,” said Greg Latimer, Skycast Solutions' chief marketing officer. “And you won’t have that ‘head-tap’ thing going on that happens when the person behind you starts playing with traditional seatback systems.”

TrayVu hasn’t been picked up by any airlines yet, but when it does, passengers will be able to watch movies (and ads), play games with others in the cabin (and see them on the built-in camera), use the credit card reader to order food and drinks, and even run up a tab for items purchased for other passengers, such as their children — or that cute guy across the aisle.

It sounds promising, but won’t that see-through section of the tray-table get dirty?

“Our plan is to provide complimentary headphones and a screen wipe in each seat,” said Latimer. “Customers will wipe off their screens and then probably use it to wipe off their tray tables. The cleaning crews will love us.”

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Find more by Harriet Baskas on Stuck at The Airport.com and follow her on Twitter.