Passengers on Boeing planes who are benefiting from improved WiFi have the work of 20,000 pounds of potatoes to thank.Boeing’s goal is to provide wireless internet without “hot” and “cold” spots, so the signal is equally strong for everyone on board.
Rather than finding people to sit completely still in the cabin for hours of testing, company engineers used the vegetables, whose interactions with radio waves mimic those of the human body.
Boeing won’t disclose details of its proprietary testing process, but it did reveal the humorous name of the project: Synthetic Personnel Using Dialectic Substitution (SPUDS).
The idea of using potatoes isn’t a new one for the company, which has been using the crop as the “perfect stand-in” for humans since 2006, according to the AP. Years of testing are now bearing fruit: Boeing says it has already improved WiFi in its 777, 747-8, and 787 Dreamliner models.
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