Whether or not you’re the type of person who takes a sleeping pill and passes out as soon as you get onto a plane, you’d be interested in this: British Airways has invented a “happiness blanket” to gauge the mood of their passengers. Like something straight out of a sci-fi flick, this color-changing cover isn’t heat-sensitive like the mood rings of the ’90s, it’s much more futuristic. This baby uses neuro-sensors to asses levels of relaxation and stress.
How can a blanket absorb your emotions, you ask? The sensors transmit into the blanket by Bluetooth and illuminate via fiber-optic LEDs woven into the wool. Wait, what? This means that whenever a person is stressed out, the blanket glows red, and when they’re happy or relaxed, the blanket turns blue. In other words, this blanket is psychic.
It may not be the most fashion-forward device — passengers must wear a headband containing the neuro-sensors in order to see the effects — but upon conducting a study to test out the blanket, British Airways gathered some amazing information. Namely, passengers’ stress levels fluctuate throughout flights, but they experience the highest sense of relaxation when they are eating, drinking or sleeping.
Sounds obvious, right? But it’s this data that helps British Airways focus on the areas they can improve to make flights more enjoyable as a whole. Using this data, they can adjust seating in order to allow all passengers to achieve uninterrupted sleep. Stock food and drinks that bring happiness levels up, and even curate entertainment for maximize relaxation. (The study showed that stress can go up or down based on what passengers watch. Suspense is more stressful than comedy, for example.) Even lighting affects passengers’ moods during the flight.
It still remains to be seen when these blankets may become mainstream — if they do at all — but British Airways is hoping to use the data collected by their “test flights” to improve their services. And perhaps there will be several more uses for this glowing fabric in fashion. With companies like Recreus making 3D printed sneakers that fold up to pocket size, and Drum Pants — the wearable instrument — we’re always excited to preview more of what the future holds!
Do these futuristic blankets make you stressed or happy? Express your mood in the comments below!