Basically, the new design appears to be, well, sane compared to the aforementioned sadistic stacked seating and honeycomb-style system designed to cran as many humans as possible onto planes. However, Airbus recently submitted another patent application for a new seating arrangement that would move carryon item storage from under individual seats to compartments built below the seat cushions, effectively taking away what little legroom the row in front of you afforded, according to the report. Let's just hope that design doesn't make it beyond the concept stage.
As for the customizable bench seats, it's unclear if and when they will actually appear on commercial planes, but as The Consumerist points out in its report, airlines might end up charging more for them. But for families and travelers who require more space, it might just be worth it.