Wearables are one of those technologies that’s always on the verge of mainstream adoption, but yet is always still “just around the corner”. We already have smartwatches and fitness trackers in abundance, but as far as wearable tech clothing goes, it’s still not really taken off.
That’s all about to change at least as far as the airline industry is concerned. Airlines have in the past embraced new technology (British Airways in fact had an Apple Watch app available at launch and have just announced new watch-friendly airport ticket scanners), and EasyJet is no exception – the company is experimenting with a slew of new uniforms covered in LEDs and all kinds of sensors.
Budget airline EasyJet is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary by launching new crew and engineer personnel uniforms that incorporate various hi-tech features. Both types of uniform include microphones so that the pilots and crew can stay in constant communication. And the more visible cabin crew have a uniform that’s studded with shoulder-mounted LEDs showing the flight number. The hems are also lit by LED providing quick identification of staff in case of an emergency.
Besides the crew, the engineers have a special outfit that contains LEDs and reflective inlays in the hood – the idea here is so they don’t need a torch when carrying out maintenance. They also have an integrated video camera that can be used to remotely diagnose problems with other engineers.
The technology in the EasyJet wearables was developed by a company called CuteCircuit, who are already fairly well known for clothing incorporating LEDs, as worn by people like Katy Perry.
The EasyJet uniforms are taking wearables to the next, natural step – special fabrics and flexible electronics that allows the tech to be integrated with your clothes. The potential applications are huge – such as military personnel out in the field, health and wellness, and the sports industry to name but a few.
There are already hundreds of companies developing advanced fabrics and textiles – such as DuPont with their low temperature electronic inks, and Textronics‘ wearable textile sensors.
Meanwhile, EasyJet is set to start the trial in 2016. If all goes well, they might one day be rolled out across the entire fleet.
The full story can be found on the EasyJet website here.