High Flying Smart Textiles

Smart-textiles-airplane-seatA number of initiatives look into the sensible use of smart textiles, sensors embedded into the fabric of life like for medical purpose or evaluation performance in sport activities.

Using sensible, smart fabric covered airplane seats for a more comfortable and safer trip on these long distance flights of the future is a new angle but it does make a lot of sense to me.

SEAT (Smart tEchnologies for stress free Air Travel), a European project established under the roof of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Sixth Framework Program (FP6) is planing to upgrade airplane seats with senses.

The SEAT project scope is to develop smart responsive seats and interior environment with the capability of detecting physiological and psychological changes of passenger’s condition in real time based on a multi-sensor network integration into the textile seat covers.

Sitting still for a long time, as happens on flights, carries the risk of developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). If the seats indicates to the cabin crew someone hasn’t moved for a long time and is in the group of people more likely to develop DVT, the passenger can be given special attention, encouragement to do some exercise.

Likewise if the smart seat indicates very frequent movements and raised pulse can be a sign of a nervous passenger to bay attention towards.

The smart seat could allow to create a more individual atmosphere for each person by adjusting light, temperature or seat position based on the passengers behavior observed by the smart textiles on the seat.

This all sounds fantastic but I wonder how long it will take to have these smart seats in action.


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