The Airbus helmet: the future of inflight entertainment?

By Chris Chamberlin, September 12 2014

Could the future of inflight entertainment be an air conditioned, seat-mountable and ‘sensorial isolation’ helmet?

And it’s not just any helmet: it comes packed with 3D and holographic video support and can be operated by a remote control or motion capture gloves worn by the passenger to type on a virtual keyboard:

According to a patent application filed in the United States by the French aircraft manufacturer (US 8814266 B2), the helmet isn’t just aimed at the techno crowd, rather everyday passengers.

The application notes that “aircraft flights generate stress for certain passengers”, and that “music is broadcast or films (are) shown, (and) access is given to video games” – but that these are often insufficient to relieve that boredom or stress.

“If the passenger is sensitive to stress, this isolation, possibly associated with one of the above-mentioned activities, allows him/her to more easily calm down and relax,” it went on to read.

While all new aircraft seats could one day come kitted out with the hi-tech helmet as standard, Airbus says that existing airline seats could also be retrofitted with the new technology:

Furthermore, it can be fitted by the crew on the fly as a paid extra, which could potentially see Airbus customer airlines such as Jetstar charging to hire a helmet rather than seeking payment to unlock a more traditional seatback entertainment screen.

Airbus says that the headrest mount would ideally allow connection to an air flow or air conditioning source, enabling the helmet to circulate air flow around a passenger’s face, making it more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

All up, the gadget offers passengers their ‘own little world’ on board – so if you’re sitting next to a chatty seatmate, donning a hi-tech Airbus helmet could one day be the best excuse to escape a never-ending conversation.

More on inflight entertainment:

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

Finally a child tantrum and crying noise canceller! Yippeee

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

Helmet head? No thanks.

And before the flight the captain will offer you a red pill or a blue pill. You pick...

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines

13 Aug 2013

Total posts 80

I am more worried about the Hygiene aspect of things.

I always bring my own Noise cancelling headphones whenever I travel. Apart from the fact they work a million times better than the ones offered in Business Class on any airline, they are mine, so I know for sure they are clean. 

The thought of using headphones that have been sitting on a strangers greasy ears and greasy hair, accumulating Ear wax makes me feel sick.

I am pretty sure they arent wiped clean after each flight!

Now back to this helmet being proposed:

Same issue! Except in this case you can add condensation, saliva, and sneeze droplets on the inside. Gross.

Reaches for KFC refresher towel.... 

09 Sep 2014

Total posts 55

Sound's Aweful!!

22 Oct 2014

Total posts 1

My head size is big hope the helmut is big too. Some peoples heads are massive but the tech sounds good..


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