Boeing has filed a patent for a new kind of airline chair intended to foster better sleep during long flights.
Though lying flat on a horizontal surface is considered the most conducive way for people to rest, Boeing's contraption provides seated sleepers with support for their heads when their bodies inevitably lean forward.
Dubbed the "transport vehicle seat back with integrated upright sleep support system," or simply the "cuddle chair," the patented application has a backpack under the chair, containing a strap and buckle system that can be attached to the seat's headrest to keep the passenger in place.
Once positioned, the passenger can lean forward — presumably into dreamland. Boeing also included what it calls a "face relief aperture," or a massage table-style hole in the headrest, so passengers smothering themselves in their own sleep will not become an issue. The backpack also comes with a chest cushion to support the weight of the passenger during sleep.
Boeing's patent, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, says most passengers only have two options when trying to sleep in an upright position. One, they can lean against the window and prop their head on a pillow — but that's only possible for people sitting next to the window. And even then, not all window-seat passengers can find a comfortable position undisturbed by the vibrations of the plane.
The second option is to bring a neck pillow, but Boeing says that's also an imperfect solution.
"The personal neck pillow is also not a highly successful option due to the natural tendency of a sleeper to relax their muscles and fall to a more horizontal position, thus awakening the passenger," Boeing explained.
The company added that many neck pillows are filled with materials that shift around and get deformed when the passenger is leaning on them, so while they may be comfortable at first, the pillow becomes increasingly uncomfortable as the filling moves around.
You might still have to make due with the neck pillow — Boeing told the Daily Mail that it "files many patents every year, but that doesn't necessarily mean [it ends] up pursuing them."
Check out the video by Patent Yogi below for a demonstration of how Boeing's cuddle chair would work.