What will the airline seat of the future look like?
Thales, B/E Aerospace and BMW think they have cracked it. The new prototype business class seat design sounds like what you’d expect out of a lie flat, premium aircraft seat combined with your home entertainment luxuries.
The seat is designed to know and remember you based on a connection to your personal electronic device. Place your device on the side panel and the seat computer system connects to social profiles and reads your data footprint to learn what you like when you travel. Using that big data, it determines what content you’ll like. This will show on the big screen that tilts as you do. It will also choose a chill out colour for the side panel, what position you’d like your seat in and the massage setting as well as what your favourite onboard food is.
Surround sound is fitted into the headrest. The tilting screen is visually controlled – look at an icon on screen for a film you like, it plays. Look away to speak to a flight attendant and it will pause. Look back and it will start again. You can decide if you want this feature or not but Thales thinks you want it.
The vision control system has more to it than you think. It’s actually so sophisticated that it can test your vision and recommend glasses. And it will be here soon.
Thales, B/E and BMW don’t have a firm customer yet but they are certain they will have soon. Full certification testing is required but it’s basically ready to go. We’re looking at around three years, unless any airlines would like it sooner? Have some of that Virgin America. They’re not joking about sophisticated seats.