Jack had to take a six hour long flight from New York to Los Angeles. Having slept for just four hours over the last two days, he felt it imperative to use the flight to catch up on some sleep. Jack had hoped he would swim in the ocean of deep slumber during his flight. Instead, he got a sore neck because of resting his head on the windshield, got pulled up by the lady sitting next to him for resting his head on her shoulders and found out that he was a tad too tall to bend down and rest his head on the bench meant for keeping the food tray. I hope someone devises a way to help people sleep better on planes, Jack wished in agony. He let out a disgruntled sigh, gave up on his attempt to fall asleep and pulled out the magazine kept in the pouch attached to the seat in front of him.
He began munching a sandwich and scrolling through the pages of the magazine. When Jack jumped over to the technology section, he was stumped by what he read in one of the reports. The article was about how Boeing might be working on a plan to help flyers sleep better or as in Jack’s case, sleep at all. Why did I not wish for a million dollars or a treasure chest or a magic lamp, he kicked himself. The article reported that Boeing had recently been granted a patent (US8985693) that disclosed a sleep support system. What Jack saw on the pages in front of him looked like the following.
The patent’s sleep support system didn’t promise a cosy bed or a recliner on the plane. And yet it seemed a significant step forward in the direction of making flights more sleep-friendly. The system disclosed in the patent included a backpack with a head cushion, a chest cushion and standoff supports to provide clearance for a passenger’s abdomen. A ‘sling’ was shown to be attached to the backpack for supporting the passenger’s arms. One could even adjust the angle of the headrest and torso supports.
Jack was highly impressed by what Boeing promised and really wanted to day dream about sleeping comfortably using the system disclosed. His practical self tried to warn him that Boeing might take years to execute this invention. However, being an optimistic person, he was happy that someone realised the hardships he and many others go through while flying. It might not be long before such assistive tools are attached to a plane’s seats, he pondered and looked out the window. For now I should use the beautiful view outside to relax and revitalize.
(Featured image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bekathwia/2462986853)