British Airways' "Happiness Blanket" Changes LED Color According To Your Mood
Let's face it, flying can be far from an enjoyable experience, especially if you're on a transatlantic flight. But what if \ new technology can help you calm your nerves as you cruise at 30,000 feet? Researchers at British Airways have developed a "happiness blanket" that's exactly what it sounds like: It'll keep you happy throughout your flight.
"What if there was something that could actually measure your well-being as you fly?" British Airways asked in its newly-released video for the product. "We invented the happiness blanket and conducted a unique live experiment at 30,000 feet."
How does this seemingly-magical happiness blanket work? According to the airline, the researchers used portable neuro-sensor technology to create a wearable device that can measure your brainwaves. This technology is advanced enough to measure your well-being through the fluctuations of your feelings, apparently.
The happiness blanket is woven with small, fiber-optic LED lights that work together with a bluetooth-powered headband worn on your head. The headband reads your brainwaves to detect your emotions — content, calm, stressed, anxious, scared — and sends them to the blanket. The LED lights then change color depending on your mood; red represents negative emotion, while blue indicates a positive feeling.
Although the blanket won't instantly make you happier, it will serve as a mood indicator for flight attendants. If they see your blanket is red, the flight attendants will be able to better serve your needs. If your blanket is blue, they know you're good.
The researchers also tested the happiness blanket to better understand the effect in-flight meals, movies and other services had on passengers. They watched the coloring of the blankets fluctuate as passengers watched comedies and thrillers, and also measured eating and sleep patterns. The researchers found that there's a general lift in mood among passengers when they ate and drank. (We'll say.)
However, the researchers said that passengers were more relaxed and content when they were able to have deep, undisturbed sleep.
Although the happiness blanket seems like an added benefit of flying British Airways, they unfortunately won't become standard on flights. The airline plans on using them for further experiments to gather more information on how to improve in-flight service.
“[It’s] 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," Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director brands and customer experience, told Yahoo! Travel. “We take our customers’ sleep and relaxation very seriously.”