Airplane seat concept adjusts to your size, lets airlines nickel-and-dime you to death

morph airline seat concept 1

No sane person will tell you that coach seats on airplanes are fine just they way they are. Cramped, awkward, and unsuited for different body types, these poor excuses for furniture just beg to be upgraded. British design firm Seymourpowell believes it has the answer in a new seating system it calls Morph.

The name is apt, as the seats are designed to, well, morph in all types of ways. Each seat can be narrowed or widened to allow for larger or smaller people to fit comfortably. And, thanks to Morph’s clever taut fabric construction, it rids the world of that annoying moment when the person in front of you reclines his seat by keeping that action within the chair itself. In fact, Morph seats can be adjusted in all types of ways to make them more comfortable for passengers.

Sounds great, right?


We thought so too, until we learned that Morph will essentially allow airlines to bankrupt travelers with even more “upgrade” pricing. As the introduction video (below) explains, Morph allows the “aircraft to be arranged by people’s willingness – and ability to pay – for space.”

Seymourpowell says this feature will have the affect of “blurring the boundaries between the classes” – rather than have a section of rich people and business travelers in their own special section, Morph-equipped aircraft will mix everybody together. Those who pay more will just have a bigger seat.

Considering airlines already charge people “coach deluxe” rates for having a seat in the first 10 rows of the back cabin, or for window or aisle seats, we don’t think it outlandish to believe that these companies will simply use Morph to gouge us even further. Want an extra inch of space? That’ll be $25. Need six inches to fit your giant rear in the chair? Why, that’s only $100 extra – but it’ll feel luxurious. On and on.

Of course, this design could be a godsend for parents traveling with children (who take up less room, thus costing less money for a spot), or for particularly giant humans. But we can’t shake the feeling that average folks will end up losing out on this one.

What do you think – is Morph a better or worse way to fly?

[via The Verge]

Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.