British Airways Testing 'Happiness Blanket' to Make First-Class More Comfortable
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Sleep is arguably the best way to pass a long flight, but slumber can be elusive at 30,000 feet. In order to get passengers comfortably dozing, British Airways has been pursuing some unconventional strategies of late.
Earlier this month, the company announced a new entertainment initiative called Slow TV. The plan: lull flyers to sleep by providing hours and hours of repetitive film, including a seven-hour train ride through a snow covered Norway, as well as videos of people knitting, walking in the park and feeding birds.
Now, the airline is employing a more scientific approach to cracking the in-flight sleep equation in the form of blankets that can measure wearers' "meditative states," Businessweek reports. The wool "happiness blankets" are embedded with micro fiber-optics that change color based on electrical fluctuations in the neurons of brain, which are detected courtesy of a Bluetooth device worn on the passenger' head. A blue blanket indicates calm, and is generally brightest during sleep. Red, predictably, indicates a stressed or anxious state.
Pretty sci-fi, no?
The blankets aren't for customer use, Bloomberg reports, but will instead be given to dozens of volunteers to test out on flights between London and New York. The data will then be collected and used to create a better in-flight experience, potentially influencing the airline's cuisine, movie options, lighting and meal times for first class passengers.
Check out the happiness blanket in action below.