3 years ago

Speaking of travel tech, could AirGo improve airplane seating?

It’s not often that the ideas of a undergraduate engineering student at University of Malaysia get featured by ABC News, The Economist, and the Christian Science Monitor.

But Alireza Yaghoubi has come up with an especially appealing idea: improved airplane seats for economy class passengers.

Yaghoubi submitted his concept to the James Dyson Award 2012 committee, which issues prizes to particularly innovative student engineers around the world.

Key highlights include:

  • Every seat has its own overhead locker.
  • Seats are made of nylon mesh which, the student claims, is a material that prevents sweating.
  • Electronic controls let a passenger adjust of the footrest, tray, and chair remotely.

Some drawbacks to the design are:

  1. It’s doubtful that the mesh seats would be sturdy enough to meet regulatory safety requirements.
  2. The seats take up 16% more floorspace, which cost-cutting airlines won’t sign up for.
  3. The James Dyson Award committee wasn’t sufficiently impressed to name the concept a winner or a runner up.

But it’s good to know that designers have improving airplane seats as a priority. One of the concepts may work someday.

And it’s also cool that a kid from Malaysia can get a global hearing if his idea has merit.


Some more images:

airplane seat


Yaghoubi made a video explaining the concept, too:

NB: Cover image of “Economy Class Seats” courtesy of Pulp-o-mizer.

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill is Editor-in-Chief of Tnooz.
Before joining us, Sean was the future of travel columnist at BBC Travel, senior editor of, and an associate editor at Kiplinger’s. He now lives in New Jersey, after having worked in London for four years. He's on Twitter and is excited for #Rio2016.



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