APEX 2014: Big mother is watching you

The trend for wearable technology will shape passengers’ cabin experiences in years to come. So says Patrick McEneany (pictured) – director, creative consulting, BMW Group DesignworksUSA.He explained that in future passengers are likely to come on board wearing a device that monitors their heart, blood pressure and body temperature, and which will then synch with the aircraft’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) system allowing travellers to create the most healthy journey. Such devices would then alert passengers to phases of flight where they are most tired, and work out when is best to sleep in accordance with their circadian rhythms and the time at the destination they are traveling to. They could also remind them to hydrate and to stretch, or to watch a soothing movie rather than an action adventure should they be anxious.McEneany added that automotive and aviation manufacturers are challenged at times to keep pace with the expectations of connectivity passengers expect from their consumer electronics and mobile devices. But while both industries focus on integrating the latest generation of devices and interfaces into their current architecture, the real learning comes from anticipating the trends and characteristics of devices and experiences that are still evolving. BMW Designworks/USA envisions the future of connected mobility.He added that aviation should bypass on its ambition to keep up with the latest developments in technology as it is evolving too fast for IFE systems to be certified and built.The company is working today on a project with Google that tracks a passenger’s journey through the airport to the aircraft and tries to assist at different ‘pain points’ in that process – i.e. the gate, security and assessing how long a person has before take off. This works by a personalised overlay on top of a device showing the passenger where she/he is with iconography depicting how long before reaching the gate or where the bathrooms are etc. For children company adds on Disney characters to take the child right to their seat. The characters could then join in a game while at the seat.McEneany said, “This could create an unparalleled travel experience for the emotional and physical comfort of the passenger, on a par with the expectations and needs of an airline, and what its business model would sustain.”

Liz Moscrop,Inflight/Inflight-Online.com
Anaheim, USA

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