Opodo travel news

BA uses fiber optic blanket to investigate sleep in the air

BA uses fiber optic blanket to investigate sleep in the air
4 Jul 2014

A new 'happiness blanket' incorporating fiber optics is being tested by British Airways. The blanket changes colour based on people's brainwaves.

Recently, several volunteers became some of the first people to give the blankets a try, during a flight between Heathrow and New York, and gave their feedback.

Neuro sensors in the blanket measure the users' brainwaves and the device changes from red to blue, showing when they have become relaxed.

BA is hoping to use evidence from the blankets to inform its decisions over in-flight service - like when to serve food and what food to serve.

"This is the first time this technology has been used by any airline to help shape how service is delivered on board an aircraft," explained British Airways' Frank van der Post.

He said that using tech such as the happiness blanket was one way to look into how people's sleep and relaxation is impacted by things on a flight, such as light levels, food, entertainment and seat position.

"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," he said.

University College London professor of human brain research Vincent Walsh is supporting the research.

He said that in-flight shut-eye represents a great chance to reset the body clock, meaning when people touch down following a long time in the air they feel rested and refreshed.

It comes after BA announced that it was bringing in a concept called Slow TV to some long-haul services. This shows footage front a long train journey, and some flyers find it hypnotic.ADNFCR-408-ID-801733378-ADNFCR

Rate this article (5 great; 1 terrible):