In an aviation industry first, easyJet has announced that staff are set to trial new futuristic uniforms which feature LED lights and in-built microphones.
The airline, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, will become the first to pilot wearable technology on its cabin crew and engineer uniforms when it rolls out the new look in early 2016.
It’s the latest innovation for the airline, which was also among the first to launch online booking in 1998 and introduce inspections by automated drones earlier this year.
This time, it has teamed up with fashion tech company CuteCircuit, which specialises in interactive fashion and is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ideas using smart textiles and micro-electronics.
The firm has recently worked with the likes of U2, Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger, as well as working closely with easyJet cabin crew and engineers to design uniforms based on their everyday movements and needs.
Tina Milton, head of Cabin Crew for easyJet, said: “Our crew’s primary concern is for the safety of all passengers so it is really exciting to be working on this pioneering new technology which could transform the capability of our uniforms, helping crew to be more easily identified in an emergency as well as helping them to provide great service to passengers.”
Ian Davies, engineering Director for easyJet, said: “With features like the LED hood and video streaming and communications capability these amazing designs offer very practical solutions for engineers working on the ramp whilst enhancing safety at the same time.”
Francesca Rosella, chief creative director and co-founder of CuteCircuit, said: “We are excited to be working with easyJet in creating the future of aviation. The cabin crew uniforms and engineers’ uniforms represent cutting edge developments in wearable technology, and are a first in the aviation industry. The uniforms unite fashionable style with novel functionalities, increasing safety and communication with passengers to create a truly unique inflight experience. We designed with the crew needs in mind and are looking forward to starting trials in 2016.”
Among the wearable tech features being trialled are:
Cabin crew uniforms
LEDs on shoulders and illuminated hems to provide additional lighting in an emergency
LEDs on jacket lapels displaying important information like flight numbers and destinations
In-built microphones to improve communication between the crew, pilots and passengers
LEDs in ground staff jacket cuffs to help with aircraft movement on the ground
LEDs in jacket hoods to illuminate work areas and leave both hands free for aircraft inspections and maintenance
Multiple reflective laser cut decoration to aid visibility on the air field
In-built video cameras to allow for remote diagnosis of technical issues along with surround sound and a microphone for instant communication capability
Air quality sensor and barometer features to help engineers monitor their work environment and create a map of air quality in different cities for passengers’ information.