Flying Coach May Get A Lot Better With Smart Seating

It is not everyday that we see new improvements in coach designed to improve comfort. Qatar Airways may be looking to introduce staggered seating, which may help some passengers. Now, Benjamin Hubert has designed a new seat for Airbus. Let’s take a look.

Benjamin Hubert designed these seats for Airbus. Photo: Layer

These seats look nothing like your normal economy cabin. According to their website, this seat is one of the most technologically advanced seats to ever be found in economy class.

The seat uses “smart textiles” with inbuilt sensors that can relay information to passengers and allow them to manipulate the seat through the Move app. Outside of the app, the seat analyzes the data and adjusts to fit the ergonomics of the passenger.

The seats are designed to improve the ergonomic comfort while in Coach. Photo: Layer

Airlines do still have some power to control how their seating should be configured on aircraft. Although, it seems like this would appeal more to some carriers than others.

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From the images, you can probably tell the seat is very lightweight in comparison to current aircraft seats. This is part of design firm Layer’s intent to make flying better for the planet while improving passenger comfort.

From the side, it seems like the seats have a very slim profile. Photo: Layer

The slim profile could be beneficial for reducing aircraft weight and improving some legroom, however, there could be some skepticism of how well this seat would work on a long-haul or redeye flight where sleep and comfort is prioritized over design and airiness.

On the back of the seat, one will find a tremendous panel of bells and whistles that we would probably call an in-flight entertainment monitor. There really is nothing like it on the market today, so there is no comparison.

The seatback panel of these seats. Photo: Layer

At first glance, these monitors look really small, even smaller than some of the monitors one finds in coach today. While incredibly stunning in terms of presentation and technological advancement, this could be an area where practicality should be introduced. Hopefully, the seat undergoes a tremendous amount of user testing before it debuts.

In addition, it begs the question of how heavy and bulky the system is. Given how the seat does not seem to be designed with much padding, the amount of discomfort from a large screen protruding into ones back on a long-haul hop across an ocean would definitely put a damper on the trip.

The seats seem to be designed for a 21st century traveler in mind. Photo: Layer

To be able to enjoy the seat, one would need some level of technological understanding to navigate all the bells and whistles. Some older passengers may find this to be difficult, however, with the growing population of smartphone and technological users, this seat could be what it takes to bring some millennials on a plane.

This seat is not for all airlines. Some airlines won’t have any interest in making their planes any fancier, while others wouldn’t want to take on the added cost at aircraft purchase and its maintenance.

It remains to be seen whether or not these seats do end up on an aircraft and we welcome your comments on these seats below!

But first, one question. On a nice long-haul flight, some people look forward to a decent meal. That begs the question: Where is the tray table?

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