After British Airways introduced its flatbed seats in 2000, it didn’t seem that flying could get any more comfortable — but it has. The airline has once again taken efforts to please flyers to a whole new level with its intriguing mood-detecting “happiness blanket.”
The happiness blankets resemble something that you might find in a science fiction movie, acting almost as giant mood rings for the entire body. The blanket’s material is embedded with tiny fiber-optic LEDs that change color based on brainwaves transmitted via Bluetooth from a headband worn by the passenger, Business Week reported. So far, the blankets have only had one trial run, a recent transatlantic flight from London to New York. During the flight, the blankets glowed a blue hue when the passengers were content and changed to red when they were feeling a bit tenser, the Daily Mail reported. According to Frank van der Post, managing director for British Airways, “the 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, to what in-flight entertainment they watch and their position in the seat.”
'Never Underestimate The Importance Of Sleep'
British Airways is one of the most popular airline choices for long-haul flights. Due to this, ensuring that their passengers get enough sleep is a top priority for the airline. Experts seem to agree on this subject. "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,” explained Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London to the Daily Mail. He is looking forward to seeing what the happiness blanket will “reveal about the traveler’s sleep and relaxation patterns during the course of a flight.” So far, the blankets have revealed not so surprising news that passengers are happiest when eating and drinking, and most relaxed when sleeping.
There is no stopping British Airways with its futuristic customer service. The company has also introduced Slow TV on some of its longer flights. Slow TV, which originally found success in Norway, is essentially a monotonous program that lulls the viewer, or as the airline likes to put it, “mesmerizes” viewers into a relaxation state. It may sound a bit strange, but apparently people love it. “They allow you to go far deeper, to enjoy more details," explained one Norweigan viewer, Finn Lunde, as reported by The Atlantic. After watching a 12-hour broadcast of logs being cut and then burned, one viewer “couldn’t go to bed” because they were “so excited.” The first British Airways program is now featured on, you guessed it, British Airways flights across Norway, The Telegraph reported.