Brain-Wave Technology: The Happiness Blanket Adventure
In an effort to discover the level of flight comfort for their passengers and to determine how to best combat jet lag, last month British Airways enlisted the help of the high-tech happiness blanket when flying a group of volunteers on Flight BA 189 Dreamliner from Heathrow to New York. Results indicated that passengers flying first class were anxious duirng take-off and landing but were much more relaxed while indulging in drinks, good food and entertainment. While these observations might at first seem obvious, the method by which results were gleaned is nothing short of ingenious.
According to a spokesman from British Airways: "Using technology like the...'happiness blanket' is another way for us to investigate how our customers' relaxation and sleep is affected by everything on board, ranging from the amount of light in the cabin to when they eat, to which flight-in entertainment they watch and their position in the seat."
How does the happiness blanket work?
The process known as brainwave technology is as close to science fiction as any innovative product can get. Manufactured by MyndPlay, the world's first mind-controlled media player and platform, the happiness blanket comes with a headset that sends signals from the brain to the blanket and instructs it to change color whenever a change in mood occurs. When the blanket glows red, it means a minimum state of relaxation; blue indicates the maximum.
The blanket is installed with woven fiber optics and neurosensors that measure the user's brainwaves, thus permitting interaction using only the mind. This is accomplished va the utilization of a dry sensor electroencephalograph (EEG).
Developed in Great Britain and based in London, England, MyndPlay is an innovative and entertaining paltform that serves a dual purpose. First, it is designed to elevate the user to a new and different level of experience, and secondly, to provide, via interactive video content, the ultimate in computer-brain connectivity. MyndPlay utilizes stimulus/ response training with the goal of directing the mind to meditate and focus, and through brainwave feedback, develop greater mental awareness.
Other applications of MyndPlay
The powers-that-be behind Mynd-Labs who have conducted campaigns in the UK, Singapore, the US and Australia have a mission to connect that bridge between brain science and physiological emotional response. MyndPlay can be used for a myriad of purposes that can give any company a greater insight into the minds of their employees and/or audience. Some uses include: entertainment, research, experiences and training. For the MyndPlay Labs team, which consists of seasoned marketers, neuroscientists and psychologists, the range of possibilities is almost endless. The paltform already encompasses everything in crowd-gathering experiences from mind-controlled games and sports to interactive movies.
A recent evaluation taken from the US Olympic Archers has indicated that the use of EEG technology during training helps athletes become more aware of their mental states. This in turn aided them in their abilities to both relax and concentrate. These two factors are vitally important in achieving peak performance because they are essential to developing a linear focus that blocks out external influences.
The future of the happiness blanket
It is likely that MyndPlay represents the future of interactive video technology and brainwave feedback. At this time, it is not known if British Airways will attempt to improve the flying experiences of passengers travelling economy class via the happiness blanket. These blankets are cutting edge technology and yet they are in their own way reminiscent of those campy mood rings that were so popular back in the sixties that changed color with the user's every mood alteration.
Perhaps the happiness blanket will change the aviation industry in ways heretofore unexpected. Who knows? That old option of "coffee, tea or me," could now be changed to: happiness, sadness, relaxation of stress?
M Dee Dubroff
Fashion and Technology Blogger