While the initial sketches look like something out of your local hair salon or beauty clinic, Airbus has a proposal for in-flight virtual reality sensory isolation headgear which controls the passenger’s flying experience.
In an effort to improve the commercial flying environment, the European aviation manufacturer has lodged a patent application for the new technology, which would see passengers enter partial or total “sensorial isolation” when wearing the helmet.
“This isolation allows the passenger to better profit from some of the distractions offered, for example listening to music, watching films,” according to the patent proposal.
The helmets, designed to be attached to the seat headrest, will feed audio and video directly into the device, as well as squirting “odorous substances” up passengers’ noses and projecting a virtual keyboard on the fold down trays attached to seat backs.
French inventor Bernard Guering says the innovative headgear could help to alleviate boredom and reduce stress, while a mini-airbag system would help prevent injuries in the case of severe turbulence.
“During aircraft flights, certain passengers have periods when they are bored either during a wait phase preceding take off or following landing or during a cruise phase,” the patent proposal says.
“If the passengers is sensitive to stress, this isolation, possibly associated with one of the above-mentioned activities allows him/her to more easily calm down and relax.”
If you think this idea is wacky, earlier this year Airbus submitted a patent for upright bicycle-style seats designed to prop up flyers in an awkward semi-upright position to reduce the space required between rows.
See below for additional sketches of the headgear.