WHILE technological advancements and innovations have breathed new life into airplanes, refurbishing first and business class cabins to provide a luxurious flying experience and maximum comfort, one “stepchild” of air travel is often forgotten.
For years, the economy cabin has seen little improvements which are far and few in between. Some of the most common grievances of economy class flyers are such as the lack of legroom and unadjustable seats that are not cushy which can damper the entire vacationing experience.
Luckily, that may soon change. A new design, developed by Airbus Innovation Lab and strategic design agency LAYER, is set to bring you the future of airplane seats.
“Move” is a prototype airline seat for Airbus that utilizes smart textiles and clever functionality to improve the experience of economy class short- to mid-haul flying.
“At LAYER, we believe good design should be accessible to all,” LAYER founder and creative director Benjamin Hubert said.
“All too often, new concepts for flying are focused on innovation in business class. We were excited to take on this project with Airbus to find ways to improve and add value to the economy class experience – for both the passenger and the airline.”
The digitally-knitted seat uses “smart textiles” made out of a special polyester wool blend combined with embedded sensors to enable passengers to monitor and control various factors according to his or her weight and size. This includes seat tension, temperature, pressure, and movement.
Best of all, these can be controlled using a handy LAYER-designed “Move” app.
As “Move” can be configured by both airline and passenger to fit a wide variety of user needs, each economy class passenger will be able to monitor and control comfort factors during his or her journey. Through the “Move” app, passengers can switch the seat setting from massage to meal time to sleep.
“Move” will also analyze data and automatically adjust to the passenger to maintain optimal ergonomic comfort. The app will remind passengers when they need to move to avoid discomfort or drink water, and even suggest in-flight exercises.
The curved headrest on all seats means you will never have to dread the middle seat because no matter which seat you are given, you will have a place to rest your head when you sleep.
The concept seat comes with a slew of other smart features as well, such as adjustable tray tables, detachable armrests, and options for in-flight entertainment and power outlets.
In particular, unlike most major airlines, the “Move” tray table has an adjustable height and is stowed vertically. It can be folded to half-size for beverages or to hold gadgets such as smartphones or tablets. This gives ample legroom for taller passengers and optimum viewing experience for shorter passengers.
Passengers can also rest assured that they will never leave anything behind because the smart seat’s pressure-sensitive yawns will notify passengers after landing if they have forgotten something on the plane.
And that is not all.
Thanks to the lightweight frame made from aluminum and carbon fiber, “Move” will significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft and improve fuel efficiency, resulting in significant fuel savings and a greener approach to flying.
This will undoubtedly improve the sustainability of both aircraft and air travel.
For more information, visit the company’s website.