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Smart seat covers for planes

January 1st, 2020 / By: / Swatches

Now in the prototype stage, Move, a smart textile seat cover, puts the passenger in the driver’s seat when it comes to personal comfort flying economy class. Photos: LAYER.

How can you have a better experience flying economy? The answer may lie in smart textiles and their ability to respond to individual needs. That’s the idea behind Move, a digitally knitted seat cover that puts the airplane passenger in control. The cover “reads” your body and enables you to make various adjustments including seat tension, temperature, pressure and movement. 

The London-based industrial design firm LAYER, in collaboration with Airbus, developed the technology by researching the main pain points of flying. Move can analyze data during a flight and automatically adjust for ergonomic comfort based on an individual’s weight, size and movement by passing a current through a conductive yarn to change seat tension. 

The seat cover consists of a polyester wool blend textile digitally knitted with the conductive yarn and fitted over a lightweight perforated composite frame. Zones of different density that offer varying levels of support are knitted into the textile. Built-in sensors that monitor the person’s body and the conditions of the chair send data to the user’s smartphone, so passengers can make adjustments as they wish. They can also change the seat condition by selecting different modes including sleep, mealtime and massage.

The phone app also provides passengers with comfort prompts, including reminders to stay hydrated or to get up and move. The seat even knows when something has been left behind in the pocket post-flight and will notify the passenger’s phone. 

Designed for short to mid-haul flights, Move has an eco-friendly benefit as well. The lightweight seat structure reduces the weight of the aircraft, saving on fuel use and costs. For more information, visit www.layerdesign.com.