'Morph' airplane seat concept adapts to different body sizes

Credit: Seymourpowell

Air travel is, in many ways, a classist system: those who can afford to pay for a luxurious, spacious and overall more hospitable experience are literally "first class," while the rest of us are relegated to the cheaper, cramped and frill-less "economy" section. The biggest caveat of sitting in the economy part of the plane is undoubtedly the seats themselves. Not only are they made out of cheap, flame-retardant foam, but they're also all the same size, which can be a problem considering people aren't all the same sizes.

Realizing this, British design firm Seymourpowell has presented a very obvious and ingenious solution to the problem: custom seat sizing. Dubbed "Morph," the new seating concept involves a bench-like piece of furniture that can adjust to an individual person's needs, accommodating petite, tall or big-boned folk with a touch of a button. Each seat "bench" is covered with stretchy fabric over a foam base that is clamped down by the armrests, which can also be extended out for a larger platform (so no more armrest hogs).

Underneath the seat, mechanical seat "formers" dictate the degree of recline or support desired by the passenger. The seat dividers are also automated, so a family of three can, in theory, give the child a smaller width of seating while parents get a little more room. Each bench is a total 54 inches long, to be split up between two or three individuals as needed — so two people can have a roomier seat on one bench if they are willing to pay for it.

So far, Morph is just a concept, but should give airlines something to think about, since its customer's needs differ: while one person might be willing to squeeze into a smaller seat for less, another may pay a premium to get more space during longer flights. It's definitely a more efficient way to fly — now can we also get some gratis superfast Wi-Fi with that?

Seymourpowell, via The Verge

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook