Take This Digital Pill, And Have A Better Flight?

Have you ever been super uncomfortable on a flight, and just wished you could get some assistance without looking like a whiny, entitled millennial? We get it—flights can get hot, or maybe you missed beverage service and you're stuck with dry mouth from that pack of pretzels. MIT and British Airways get it too, and they've got your back with their new "digital pill."

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How They Anticipate Your Hanger

Researchers at MIT created an almond-shaped pill with ingestible sensors that measure different aspects of a person's physiological state. It can measure your internal temperature to know if you're hot or cold, judge your hydration levels and stomach acidity to see when you need to be satiated, and even monitor your sleep cycle to see when you're taking a great nap (read: do not disturb).

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As of November 2016, British Airways filed for the digital pill's patent. The 24-page patent application explained MIT's intentions to create "a system that facilitates greater efficiencies within the aircraft travel environment and enables improved control and personalisation of the passenger's travel environment, in particular for enhanced passenger wellness and wellbeing when flying." Here's the catch for this wellness and wellbeing—you must swallow a pill and let the flight crew get to know you on a very personal level. Weirded out? Well, they can't stalk you forever. The pill is "ingestible," but not digestible, so it's likely to pass within a day or two. Comforting.

Related: A Swallowable Pill Takes Pictures Of Your Insides

The Future Of Travel Is Here!

So when, if ever, will British Airways begin using this pill? We'll stay tuned, but the FDA hasn't approved similar digital pills in the past. They rejected Otsuka Pharma and Proteus Digital Health's digital pill that monitored "whether patients had been following doctors' orders."

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British Airways Aims To Make Flying Easier

They filed a patent on a pill MIT created that's loaded with ingestible sensors to help improve travel experiences.

Written by Curiosity Staff February 2, 2017

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