British Airways Mood Blankets. Sounds strange, right? Well, it’s a new reality for volunteers who are participating in a trial. According to BA, “the wool “happiness blanket” is embedded with tiny fiber-optic LEDs that change color based on brainwaves transmitted via Bluetooth from a band worn on a passenger’s head.” Blue lights mean relaxation & calm while the red lights signal stress or anxiousness. I wonder what purple means.
BA plans to analyze the data from the blankets to make the in-flight experience better. “The color patterns may inform changes to in-flight services from, for example, the timing of meals, the menu and the movie options.” says British Airways.
The collection of data brings up interesting privacy questions. How much data do you want the airlines to know about you? And what will the airlines actually do with the data they’re collecting? British Airways says it could lead to changes in in-flight service – perhaps if a frequent flyers blanket is always red they’ll use the data to seat them in the section with the nasty flight attendant. Perhaps frequent flyers who are always blue might get upgraded more frequently. Who knows how they’ll use the data collected. It certainly brings up some interesting questions.
Would you use a mood blanket and wear the silly headband?