16 sep According to a recent patent filing, Airbus are considering ’isolation helmets’ to improve the flying experience of their passengers.
Invented by Frenchman, Bernard Guering, this headset aims to support the escapism from the often cramped and uncomfortable reality that is flying for most passengers.
According to the patent filing, the helmets come down over the passenger’s face completely isolating the passenger from external activity. Fitted with earphones for noise cancellation to improve the capacity for enjoying music or films onboard and using motion sensory gloves, the passenger can flip down the tray on the back of the seat in front of them where a virtual keyboard is projected. The main purpose of this design is to improve upon efforts to relieve passengers from either boredom or flight anxiety by completely isolating and distracting them in a calming space which they can focus on controlling. The design goes on to consider the functions of the headrest for optimal comfort, individual air supply circulations to each headset are designed to keep the passenger refreshed but the patent goes so far as to actually include the possibility of releasing odorous substances to relax the passenger. The patents states that the passenger can choose between ambient flows, refreshed or conditioned and goes on to propose the possibility of oxygen enhanced air to promote a state of relaxation. There doesn’t seem to be any immediate plans to put this design into action, it would seem that for now, the company is merely protecting the IP for future consideration. We can’t help but feel with passenger travel space becoming tighter and more compact than ever to increase passenger numbers, this headset might be a pleasure for those passengers too stressed out or anxious to allow themselves to slip away into a book or entertain themselves with a hand held device, and in this ever increasing anti-social age, we don’t expect much conversation from our fellow passengers! Considering the success of the Oculus Rift and how well received that virtual reality headset was, there’s no reason to believe this design couldn’t work well with inflight passengers who might even pay for the luxury of using such equipment if it lives up to its promise. Click here to read the patent.