To solve these apparent problems, Airbus developed Patent US8814266 B2: individual helmets that are attached to the seats and offer total “sensorial isolation”.
Sounds futuristic and lonely, right? Maybe? Well, actually the level of isolation is up to you; each helmet can be configured from dead-to-the-world to calmly-cruising. Not only do helmets allow for full immersion into your music, movies, or games, but they’re also multi-sensory, meaning there’s sound, sight, and even smell. That sweaty dude sitting in the middle seat could suddenly smell like a meadow full of flowers.
On top of that, the helmets will house mini-airbags for added safety and be able to project a keyboard onto the tray table for people that can’t quite escape reality completely and need to do some work.
That said, this is just a patent – when or even if they’ll become a reality is anyone’s guess.
Sophie-Claire Hoeller is Thrillist's associate travel editor, and convinced she did something bad in a previous life that's cursed her to always fly within three rows of a screaming child. Follow her @Sohostyle.