Airbus is trialling new cabin technology that includes filming passengers waiting to use the bathroom. Picture: iStock
Airbus is trialling new cabin technology that includes filming passengers waiting to use the bathroom. Picture: iStock

Cameras are coming to plane toilets

JET-MAKING giant Airbus will soon begin trials on a new generation of plane cabins packed with futuristic features - including cameras at the toilets.

The European company announced its Airspace Connected Experience - what it says are the plane cabins of the future - at an industry event in Los Angeles recently.

The cabins include features such as overhead compartments that flash red when full and seatbelts that tell the cabin crew when they're unbuckled.

 

Airbus is trialling a new system that would film passengers on-board. Picture: iStock
Airbus is trialling a new system that would film passengers on-board. Picture: iStock

 

But one of the more divisive new features is bound to be a series of sensors placed through the cabin to record passengers.

The sensors would be located on overhead compartments, seats and toilet door latches, and the information from the footage would be used to analyse passenger behaviour, such as how often they recline their seats, what food they're buying, and how often they're using the bathroom.

Small cameras will also track how many people queue for the toilet.

Passengers' faces will be blurred out, however the concept of planes filming passengers could be controversial given widespread outrage earlier this year at tiny cameras embedded in in-flight entertainment screens on major airlines that denied they were switched on.

The recordings at the bathroom are expected to help airlines understand congestion points for bathrooms and know how many supplies are needed inside.

 

Information collected on-board may help airlines cut down on costs. Picture: AP/Fred Scheiber, File
Information collected on-board may help airlines cut down on costs. Picture: AP/Fred Scheiber, File

 

Cameras watching what passengers are eating will help airlines avoid under-ordering popular items.

The cameras and sensors are being tested on a new A350-900 plane.

Airbus plans to introduce the concept to single aisle aircraft in 2021 and wide body aircraft by 2023, CNN reports.

Airbus vice-president of marketing Ingo Wuggetzer dismissed concerns about invasion of passengers' privacy.

"I think today's airlines have a lot of data already about their frequent flyers, and usually frequent flyers see the benefit of a more personalised service," he told CNN.

What do you think of cameras on planes? Let us know in the comments below.



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