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Is This The Future For Airline Passengers?

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Photo: Getty Images
Unless you're a frequent first-class flier, you'll be used to an uncomfortable aeroplane experience. For most of us, flying means attempting to nap in an upright position, and being tripped over by strangers on their way to the loo.

But passengers flying with British Airways could soon be treated to a far more pleasant experience – if they're willing to swallow a "digital pill", that is.

The airline has filed a patent application to the Intellectual Property Office for an "ingestible sensor" that will aim to improve their travel experience, reported The Telegraph.

The device will wirelessly beam health information from inside passengers' bodies and could work with sensors that measure temperature and sleep, along with data from their own wearable tech, to create a personalised "travel environment".

It could therefore monitor passengers' stomach acidity levels and change their in-flight meals accordingly, or help to regulate their sleep times and use of in-flight entertainment.

Their seat position, air conditioning and even the lighting could also be adjusted to improve our flight experience.

According to the application made by BA, the aim of the technology is to create "a system that facilitates greater efficiencies within the aircraft travel environment and enables improved control and personalisation of the passenger’s travel environment."

In particular, the technology will aim to enhance "passenger wellness and wellbeing when flying,” it added.

The airline said it was inspired by Virgin Atlantic's Jet Lag Fighter app, which asks users to input their data and offers up personalised advice for alleviating jet lag.

However, unlike Virgin's app, an app created by BA using the "digital pill" would save passengers from having to add data manually.

A spokesperson for the airline said the company is "always looking to deliver new innovations for our customers, whether it be in design or digital transformation," the Evening Standard reported.

"As such, we develop many ideas and submit many patents.”

It may all sound a little Black Mirror, but at least our personal data could be used to stop us from getting heartburn, rather than to blackmail us into submission.
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