What are smart fabrics and conductive thread?
The smart fabric can conduct electricity across the plane, enabling currents to alter different aspects of your seat. For example, the thread can:
- Change the firmness of your seat – this helps ensure its more or less demanding for different body parts and can optimize itself during the flight
- Alter seat temperature – gone are the days when you’d be boiling when taking off and freezing as you touch down
- Track your posture over time via an app – now you’ll know why your back is all messed up
The concept includes an app which passengers can download to track and change every facet of their seat. In fact, the app can also act as an in-flight advisor, suggesting different postures and even telling you when you should move around or grab water to stay hydrated
Optimization is the name of the game
In case you had hoped otherwise, airlines aren’t planning on limiting the number of seats anytime soon. Since you’ll probably get that middle seat between one person snoring louder than the white noise and another foul-smelling passenger, smart fabrics are a welcome addition. In addition, the Layer team also included new designs for vertical tray tables to give passengers more space. The intelligent layout means you’ll save a couple of extra centimeters which make a world of difference on longer flights. All these incremental difference dramatically impact the weight of an aircraft as smart fabrics require less padding in seats. In addition, the design would decrease waste from manufacturing, reducing environmental impact and airline’s bottom line.
Airbus, the airline manufacturer, worked with Layer to design and create this prototype. Ultimately, they will be the ones to see if it makes sense to turn this vision into a reality. As avid travelers ourselves, we hope they make it happen!