Now that we're just about to start flying again, many people are wondering how social distancing in the air will work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The people behind a new innovation that provides a division between seats in economy rows are hoping that it may provide a solution.

The prototype of the Interspace Lite plane seats
The curved design separates the travelers on either side © Universal Movement

Aerospace manufacturer, Safran, and transportation technology company, Universal Movement, have entered into a partnership around the Interspace Lite seat. Its curved design separates the travelers on either side, providing a barrier - and privacy - between those in the aisle and window seats.

The original version of the seat - the Interspace - was designed to make sleeping easier for passengers in economy class, and now this version - the Interspace Lite - has been redesigned as a potential solution for social distancing requirements around travel in the post-COVID era.

The prototype of the Interspace Lite plane seats
The curved design separates the travelers on either side © Universal Movement

The idea for the original Interspace product is that passengers can fold out two padded wings to provide greater lateral support and give them the ability to change their posture while seated. The good news for any carrier considering the system is that it is retrofittable, which allows them to remove an existing seat-back and fit the Interspace technology onto a fleet without replacing existing seat units and adding additional cost.

The prototype of the Interspace Lite plane seats
The seat could be a potential solution for social distancing requirements around travel © Universal Movement

While we are navigating the post-COVID travel era, the Interspace Lite seat gives airlines flexibility to reconfigure their economy cabins by providing delineation between passengers. “With the travel industry severely affected by the spread of coronavirus, we have also sought to provide a solution through the Interspace Lite solution that could allow airlines to get back on their feet much sooner than if standard aircraft seating were to remain the same," says Luke Miles, founder of Universal Movement.

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

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