Look no further than the sports field to see that every drop of sweat is being tracked. But how would you feel about sleep metrics being gathered, from your time on board an airplane? As tech and travel collide in entirely new ways, airlines are testing the future of passenger experience, for better and worse.

Sleep Tracking Eye Masks

Next time someone asks about your airplane sleep, they may get more than they bargained. Neuroon “Open” is the worlds first intelligent eye mask, which monitors pulse and a variety of other factors to offer in depth sleep analysis. It also uses light waves, vibration and delicate sound to coax you into deeper sleep and *theoretically* reduce jet lag. The mask communicates with your smart phone to give a full download of the nights events. Lufthansa digs it.

Personal Airport Navigation

Apparently the massive wall advertisements just aren’t cutting it. Airlines want to pipe offers and directions directly to your phone- using GPS and RFID beacons. These could actually be nifty, for things like directions to your gate or an airport lounge. Airports are pretty confusing, after all.Β  But many see this as a way to earn more marketing revenue by sending targeted ads from airport shops. Those clever devils…

Virtual Reality Upgrades

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but few are worth a thousand dollars. Airlines are trialling VR headsets at boarding gates and check in facilities, to tempt passengers into upgrades, after seeing “the real thing” in 3D. Experiencing the space in 360Β° VR, before buying, is seen as the most effective airline “upgrade” sales tool of the future. One airlineΒ has trialled taking things a step further, replacing entertainment screens with VR headsets. Weird.

Biometric Boarding

This brave new front has already surpassed the “toying” phase. Biometric boarding is real, it’s faster and it’s pretty darn cool, actually. Using biometric data from passport information and photos taken at various airport check points, passengers will no longer need to have their documents checked, or board via a gate agent. Instead- straight through the boarding gates, after a biometric scan.

The Bicycle Seat

If like no other passenger in history, you find the current economy seats on offer to be far too comfortable and spacious, you’re in luck. Airbus patented a “bicycle” seat design, whereby passengers won’t have a seat back – or tray table – but rather just an uncomfortable bicycle seat to semi “sit-stand” on. We’d never dare to venture a guess which airlines would love to offer these up. Hey, for the right price…

Featured image courtesy of Boom Aero.Β