Scared of flying? Your secret may be out thanks to a new aeroplane smart seat that alerts flight attendants to nervous passengers.
A new app called Flightbeat can detect fliers’ heart rate through sensors embedded in their seats.
The technology, developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in conjunction with KLM Airlines and aircraft equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace, is based on the tendency for anxious of nervous people to exhibit faster heartbeats.
The seat sensors transmit the passengers’ heartrate to the app. The information is then presented to the flight attendants as a colour-coded seat map highlighting the travellers who may need assistance.
To address privacy concerns, fliers will be able to turn the app on or off using a setting on their seat.
Flaminia Del Conte, one of the researchers, told The Daily Mail that the app is still at the concept stage and has only been tested as a prototype. The technology would require further development and official certification before its production.
“It will be interesting to look deeper at the possible connections with smart watches in 2020 that could, together with FlightBeat, deliver added value to the experience of a passenger on board,” the students were quoted as saying in an article on Inflight-Online.com.