Asia Minute: Japanese Companies Study Crying Babies on Airplanes

Oct 3, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons

This is an unusual week for Asia—it includes major holidays for at least two countries. China and South Korea have several consecutive holidays this week, and that means a lot of vacation air travel. And that highlights some research now underway in Japan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Some situations cross cultures, age groups and time zones.

If not quite universal, certain challenges are definitely felt by a large number of people.

One possible example would be crying babies. On airplanes.

That’s currently a topic of research for four Japanese companies—working together on an experiment conducted this week.

It’s probably not a shock that one of the companies is an airline—ANA.

The others include the technology company NTT, the industrial materials company Toray, and Combi Corporation—which makes products for babies.

The goal of the experiment: to develop a way to detect a series of signs babies show before they start crying.

NTT and Toray have come up with devices that monitor pulse and other measurements.

Jiji Press reports these include the not very scientific sounding measure of increased “fussing.”

Any warning signs are sent to parents by way of a smart phone, and then the parents have the child drink from a cup and straw combination developed by Combi.

A test flight was held on a round trip from Tokyo to Miyazaki Airport—a little more than a thousand miles round trip.

34 babies were on board—each with some connection to one of the companies.

The tests are not over. But ANA says so far, the data has been gathered “smoothly.”