Travel

Airbus has a design for an in-flight sensory deprivation helmet

  • Airbus has a design for a sensory-deprivation helmet where passengers can fully immerse themselves in the in-flight entertainment

    Airbus has a design for a sensory-deprivation helmet where passengers can fully immerse themselves in the in-flight entertainment  (Airbus/ U.S. Patent Application)

  • The helmet goes on the headrest and has a built-in video screen, glasses and earphones so passengers could watch movies, play video games and listen to music.

    The helmet goes on the headrest and has a built-in video screen, glasses and earphones so passengers could watch movies, play video games and listen to music.  (Airbus/ US Patent Office )

As if Airbus’ idea of a bicycle-like airplane seat wasn’t frightening enough, apparently designers at the aircraft manufacturer already had an idea to create sensory deprivation helmets for passengers.

Did you catch that?  Airbus wants you to put you’re head in a bucket to block out the unpleasant environment around you –like the person in front who just reclined their seat, or that crying baby behind you.

Skift reports that Airbus filed US Patent 8814266 B2 in 2011 for an astronaut-like helmet that will let passengers fully immerse themselves in in-flight entertainment.

“An aim of the invention is to improve in this respect the comfort of aircraft passengers,” the patent reads.  "For this purpose, the helmet in which the passenger houses his/her head offers him/her sensorial isolation with regard to the external environment. This isolation can be more or less pronounced according to the configuration of the helmet and the functionalities which are associated with it.“

The contraption has a helmet mounted on the headrest that has a built-in video screen, glasses and earphones so passengers could watch movies, play video games and listen to music.  It even has an olfactory feature, which would allow fliers to pick their choice of smell to help them relax --or at least not sniff the stinky feet of follow passengers. 

According to the patent description, the helmet could be adjusted to a number of positions, could be slipped off and on easily, and would have its own air flow system. 

In July, Airbus grabbed national headlines when it filed a patent with a design that saves on seat space by propping passengers up in a narrow seat, with cushions are shaped liked bicycle saddles.  That met with much consternation.  

Considering the recent Knee Defender incident and other in-flight scrums, escaping into an alternative universe filled with blockbuster movies and nice smells may not such a bad idea.