Air travel is about to get a whole lot more comfy. British Airways has unveiled a new hi-tech blanket that changes colors when passengers become the most relaxed and comfortable in their seats. Woven with fiber optics, the "happiness blankets" use neuro-sensors to determine brain activity. As passengers unwind, the blanket changes from red-hued to blue.
British Airways hopes these futuristic new blankets will help them monitor passengers' sleep and relaxation patterns to determine the optimal conditions for a refreshing sleep on board. Based on the blanket data, the airline will make decisions about in-flight service, meal times, what sort of food is served, which films and entertainment to show, and other aspects of flight hospitality.
“Using technology like the British Airways ‘happiness blanket’ is another way for us to investigate how our customers’ relaxation and sleep is affected by everything on board, from the amount of light in the cabin, when they eat, to what in-flight entertainment they watch and their position in the seat," says Frank van der Post, British Airways' managing director, brands and customer service in a press release. “Having been the first airline to introduce the fully-flat bed in business class, we take our customers’ sleep and relaxation, very seriously. Now we want to ensure they get the best possible good flight’s sleep as well.”
For now, the blankets have only been given to travelers who volunteered to be part of the experiment on certain flights, such as the BA189 Dreamliner service from Heathrow to New York. Pretty soon, however, all of us might reap the benefits of British Airways' experimental results and finally get a good night's sleep in the clouds. See the "happiness blankets" in action in the video below.