Imagine if your plane seat could monitor and record everything you do. When you recline, put your seatbelt on or off, stand up, use your tray table and arm rests … Sound creepy? What if all that data was recorded and used by the airline to analyse your on-board habits?
This “smart” seat, created by manufacturing company Recaro, is being tested on-board TAP Air Portugal’s Airbus A321, after being installed earlier this month in a world first.
The seats are fitted with numerous sensors that detect, track and record a passenger’s movements.
The Recaro BL3530 aeroplane seat on-board a Skymark Airlines plane. Picture: RECAROSource:Supplied
Recaro has been showing off their iSeat concept for years at trade shows as part of its “connected” cabin concept.
“This is a momentous innovation in the aviation connectivity history and a great achievement for the entire team who made this project a success,” said Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating.
TAP AIR PORTUGAL IS SPRUIKING THE BENEFITS TO PASSENGERS:
“TAP has today a cabin that was specifically designed to match TAP’s identity and to provide the best in-flight experience to our passengers,” Dr Hiller said.
Recaro has been showing off their iSeat concept for years. Picture: RECAROSource:Supplied
Recaro is a strategic partner on this transformation process, and the “iSeat” will provide further data regarding passengers’ needs and behaviours that will help TAP Air Portugal and Recaro in the development of new generations of seats to further enhance the comfort and safety standards, says Nuno Leal, head of fleet planning and contracts.
SO, HOW WILL THE DATA BE USED?
The real-time data is expected to allow cabin crews to see – at just a glance on an iPad – which seats are upright, how many times a passenger uses the tray table and whether their seatbelts are fastened. It will also speed up cabin crew takeoff and landing checks.
The ‘iSeat’ will provide further data regarding passengers’ needs and behaviours. Picture: RECAROSource:Supplied
In the short term, collected data could be used to monitor maintenance issues, allowing airlines to potentially know how many times a particular item has been used, and therefore, when it is due to be replaced.
In the meantime, the trial will run for six months, after which Recaro says the data will be used to further develop its connected cabin strategy.
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