Would you mind if your airline tried to anticipate your in-flight needs by using a variety of sensors to monitor just how you’re feeling – including, possibly, a “digital pill” that you swallow?
That’s apparently what British Airways sees for the future of travel. According to MediaPost.com, the airline has applied for a patent on new technology that would let it control the travel environment in response to very personal passenger data.
That data would be gathered by sensors that measure various physiological factors in passengers – including “digital pills or other ingestible sensors that detect internal temperature, stomach acidity and other internal properties and wirelessly relay this information outside the passenger’s body,” according to the patent application.
The application apparently did not indicate how large such a pill might be.
Other sensors could be worn by a passenger, included on his mobile device, or positioned nearby. These could include body movement sensors, sleep phase or biorhythm sensors, eye movement trackers and heartrate or blood pressure monitors, the patent application said.
All this data could theoretically be analyzed to determine if passengers are awake or asleep, hungry, and hot or cold, for instance, “for use in determining and scheduling events associated with the journey segments,” the application said – i.e., so crew could adjust in-flight service and environmental controls to keep passengers at maximum comfort levels.
What do you think, readers? Would you swallow a digital pill or strap on a wearable so flight attendants could know when to serve you dinner? Or is this whole notion just off-the-charts science fiction?
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