Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Enhancing the in-flight experience

An EU-funded project developed a prototype 'smart seat' for improving individual passengers' in-flight experiences. Not only will there be more ways to pass the time on the aeroplane, but it can all be done at elevated comfort levels.
Enhancing the in-flight experience
The 'Smart technologies for stress free air travel' (SEAT) project developed a prototype smart seat that takes concern for passenger comfort to a whole new level. The project team, fully cognisant of the fact that there is no universal setting for optimal comfort levels while in flight, took a radical new approach to improving the microenvironment of passengers. This meant creating a system that attends to individual requirements and preferences rather than being centrally controlled or in need of manual adjustments.

Smart seat development included a physiological model for assessing passenger comfort, and environmental as well as physiological parameters. Measuring systems, either on the seat and accessories or passenger-worn, were tailored for monitoring, among others, temperature, pressure and humidity, breath frequency and health. The wearable devices were especially developed to allow for counteracting psychological stress. A conceptual model for regulating the temperature and humidity of each passenger's microclimate was also developed.

The smart seat is also an essential component of on-board entertainment, with the integrated approach allowing a choice of in-travel flexible home or office environments. Generally speaking, SEAT's major innovation is the development of a novel customer-centred cabin environment that offers an enhanced overall personal travelling experience.

Further research is needed before the SEAT approach can be effectively incorporated into the aircraft cabin; however, the trip is under way.

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