When is the last time you had a relaxing experience while flying? For most, it doesn’t happen as frequently as they’d hope. That could soon change. Investments in new technology could mean big things for the future of air travel.
Using the bathroom on an airplane can be an uncomfortable experience. Boeing’s Clean Cabin Dry Floor may help with that. The floors of commercial airplane bathrooms may soon be designed with grids. This means any water or urine on the floor will fall into the grids instead of remaining where you walk. The design also means the floor will dry more quickly.
Wi-Fi is a common feature on most planes, but entertainment could reach a whole new level in the future. It is anticipated that virtual reality could become mainstream for air travelers. With the possibility of VR headsets becoming cheaper and software being installed to mobile phones, it is a real possibility. The technology could be relaxing for those scared of flying, or simply used for entertainment purposes.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, sometimes the flight is more enjoyable when you can catch a nap. Although there are pillows designed for travel, waking up with a sore neck is sometimes inevitable. A company called HAECO is trying to fix this problem with “Wave,” a headrest designed to give 180-degree support and diminish white noise through innovative headphones.
Adults with long legs always complain about the lack of legroom during commercial flights. Rockwell Collins designed Silhouette MOVE, which is a curved cabin divider that allows more room for stretching your legs or placing your carry-on items. Another possibility is a “flex-up seat” proposed by Aviointeriors. This would be a cinema-style seat for economy class that folds vertically when unoccupied to allow easier movement around the plane.
Delta Airlines is paving the way for bag-tracking service. If you’re flying with Delta in the U.S. or Heathrow, you can now use your phone to track your luggage! At the time of baggage check-in, you are given a Bag Tag Number that coincides with a radio frequency identification tag on your bag. Real-time updates are sent to your phone, which could minimize the amount of lost luggage.
Some of these technologies are more far off than others, but none are impossible. Plane manufacturers are even entertaining the idea of planes without pilots that rely on auto-landing. The deciding factor will be where airlines decide to invest their money. Some items on this list may be standard on airlines in the near future.