Now, 'happiness blanket' to track flyers' mood

Written by PTI | London | Updated: Jul 1 2014, 22:05pm hrs
British AirwaysBritish Airways recently tested the blanket on flyers travelling overnight between New York and London.(reuters)
Next time you are on a British Airways flight and your airline-supplied blanket turns red, your attendant will know you are stressed!

A new high-tech 'happiness blanket' changes colour to depict passengers' emotions during flight by measuring their brain-waves.

British Airways recently tested the blanket on flyers travelling overnight between New York and London, to check whether it can improve passengers' in-flight experience.

The 'happiness blanket, which is woven with fibre optics, uses neuro-sensors to measure a person's brain-waves and changes colour to show when they're at their most relaxed and meditative.

When the flyer is calm and relaxed, the blanket is blue. On the other hand if the flyer feels anxious or stressed, the blanket turns red.

The airline hopes that monitoring a person's sleep and relaxation patterns will help to change and improve the in-flight experience, providing input about the type and timing of meals and in-flight entertainment.

"Using technology like the 'happiness blanket' is another way for us to investigate how our customers' relaxation and sleep is affected by everything on board, from the amount of light in the cabin, when they eat and their position in the seat," British Airways said.

"This is the first time this technology has been used by any airline to help shape how service is delivered on board an aircraft," Frank van der Post, British Airways' managing director, brands and customer experience, said.

"Sleeping on a plane is a great opportunity to reset your body clock so you arrive at your destination after a long flight, feeling refreshed and rested," said Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London, said.

"You can never underestimate the importance of a good sleep so I'm looking with interest at what the British Airways 'happiness blanket' will reveal about the traveller's sleep and relaxation patterns during the course of a flight," said Walsh.