ANA develops app to relax nervous flyers during takeoff

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A survey of 1,000 US air travelers commissioned by All Nippon Airways (ANA) has found that 72% of those passengers have felt anxiety about flying, and for those anxious flyers, 68% find takeoff to be the most stress-inducing part of the journey (68%). In response to this, the airline has developed ‘ANA Takeoff Mode’, designed to relax and take people’s minds off the takeoff procedure.

The app takes the form of a simple but absorbing puzzle where users have to maneuver a ball on screen to collect points, with relaxing music playing in the background. Pretty standard stuff then, but what makes the app unique is that it measures the amplitude and frequency response of the ambient noise inside the aircraft cabin. When the aircraft engines are at full throttle during takeoff, the audio profile triggers a special animation and message for the user (the surrounding environment may affect how the app detects takeoff).

The puzzle aspect of the game should prove appealing, as the ANA survey found that puzzle games ranked second only to listening to music when it came to ways that passengers relaxed while flying (61% of people relax by listening to music; 56% by playing puzzle games). Reading, watching TV and falling asleep came in not far behind (54%, 48% and 46% respectively).

The ‘ANA Takeoff Mode’ is one of the first smartphones apps to take advantage of the FAA’s announcement on October 31, 2013 that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices during all phases of flight.

Here are some additional key findings from the ANA survey:

Women are about twice as likely to be anxious about flying Of the subgroup who almost always get anxious about flying, 63% are women, 37% men Older people (45 yrs+) are much calmer about flying than younger people (18-44yrs) Of the always anxious group 66% are younger than 45 yrs old Of the calm group 47% are younger than 45 yrs old Anxious flyers are most concerned about takeoff (68%), whereas people who get stressed about flying less frequently find the thought of turbulence more anxiety inducing (60%) 80% of people surveyed play puzzle games 97% of these people find such games to be relaxing 46% of people say they find flying during Thanksgiving or Christmas period more stressful than other times of the year Top reasons for this extra stress are crowded airports (69%) and delayed flights (63%)

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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