A collaboration between London-based design firm Layer and French aircraft manufacturer Airbus has given birth to a futuristic ‘smart’ economy class seat, one that monitors and adapts to travellers’ bodies.
Designed by Layer founder Benjamin Hubert, the Move seat incorporates an innovative “smart” textile made from a digitally knitted polyester-wool blend and conductive yarn.
Embedded with sensors, the fabric reacts to passengers’ movement, weight, size and temperature – by increasing or decreasing the tension of the material, it ensures travellers are are sitting as comfortably as possible.
The smart seat also sends data to each person’s smartphone allowing them to modify their own micro-environment further – pre-set modes include “sleep”, “meal times” and “massage”.
In addition, the Move app tells passengers when they need to get up and move around the cabin as a way of helping reduce deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and will also remind them to stretch and drink water. In this way, the Move seat will help flyers be healthier.At the moment, the seat is being pitched at airlines for short-haul flights but Globetrender thinks it would be better suited for long-haul services where the risks to well-being are greater (DVT, for example, is also known as “economy class syndrome”).Hubert says: “At Layer, we believe good design should be accessible to all. All too often, new concepts for flying are focused on innovation in business class. We were excited to take on this project with Airbus to find ways to improve and add value to the economy class experience – for both the passenger and the airline.”The lightweight, slim-line Move seats, which could be installed on Airbus aircraft in coming years, create more space in ever-more crowded planes. They are also available in a range of jazzy colours, making a refreshing change to shades of grey.Armrests can be folded away to make space and seat-backs have mounts for personal devices. What’s more, tray tables slide up and down, allowing passengers to work and eat at the right height.Between the seats are pressure-sensitive slots for tablets and iPads – and if you leave one there during disembarkation, the Move app will alert you to go back for it.