These Airbus Seats Could Make Flying Economy Much More Comfortable — Some Day

Feb 26, 2019

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Airbus economy seats could be getting a lot more comfortable.

A high-tech prototype of a new Airbus seat designed for short and medium-haul flights is enabled with smart sensors that allows the passenger to control seat settings via an app on their phone. Flyers will be able to change seat temperature and customize the seat back according to their height and size. The seat even has a massage setting.

The app paired with the seat will alert passengers when they should drink water or leave their seats to help blood flow; it also recommends stretches inflight.

Designed by British firm Layer, the seat model is called “Move,” and was made for Airbus economy cabins. It is not clear what aircraft the seats will go on or when. TPG reached out to Airbus for more information but did not receive a response by time of publication.

“Throughout the journey, the Move seat automatically adjusts based on passenger weight, size and movement to maintain optimal ergonomic comfort,” Layer said in a press release. “This is made possible by passing current through the conductive yarn to vary the seat tension.”

The seats do not recline, but instead they have four different “seat modes,” so passengers can adjust their personal settings without infiltrating other flyers’ personal space. Passengers can use Move’s app to make adjustments for different seat modes like “meal time” and “sleep.” Even the seatbacks feature modern design, with a special pouch for a tablet or phone that has a sensor that sends an alert if an item was left behind. The tray tables also fold out to half size for more knee space or the complete full size.

With an aluminum and carbon fiber frame, the Move seats are lightweight, the company says, and will help reduce the overall aircraft weight, which in turn saves fuel costs.

Layer founder Benjamin Hubert says that the concept behind the seats was to bring a little bit of premium cabin comfort to passengers riding in the back of the plane.

“All too often, new concepts for flying are focused on innovation in business class,” Hubert said in a statement. “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.”

All images courtesy Layer. Images shown with the consent of Airbus.

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