Flying can be an extremely stressful experience, but British Airways wants to find out how to make your next journey just a little bit better.
The airline has created a new way to measure and track exactly how you feel throughout the entire flight with one simple tool — a blanket.
The “happiness blanket” helps the people at BA pinpoint exactly what makes people happy and what makes them anxious when they fly, this way the airline can improve customer experiences.
Each blanket has fibre optics woven into the material and measures electrical fluctuations in the brain. These fluctuations are recorded through a headpiece worn by the passenger and are sent via Bluetooth to the fibre optics in the blanket.
When a flier feels anxious or uneasy, the blanket turns red, and when the flier is relaxed and happy, the blanket turns blue.
BA started testing its new toy on flights from London to New York. Not surprisingly, the study found that passengers were most anxious during take off and landing and were happy when they were eating and drinking.
The study also tracked how different movies and TV shows made people feel. Light-hearted programs tended to make people happy, while thrillers made people anxious. The blankets can also probably track whether people are excited by the food and entertainment options on their flight.
Finally, the blankets found that people were at their happiest when they were able to sink into a nice, deep sleep. A short video shows a row of passengers drifting into a happy slumber, but how many people can really enjoy a deep sleep on an aeroplane while sitting upright? Fingers crossed that BA uses this data and decides to fit all overseas flights with flat beds so we can all get a good night’s sleep.
Here’s a video of the blanket in action:
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