Airbus pulled something out of the hat when it revealed an iPhone-enabled 'smart bag' with RFID and GPS tracking during last month.
Now the aircraft manufacturer has taken another high-tech step forward – although perhaps not fashion-forward - with plans to outfit its workers with high-tech 'smartwear'.
Designed for quality inspectors on the Airbus A330 final assembly line in Toulouse, the kit sprouts an Inspector Gadget- like array of technology including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity plus USB ports.
A digital camera fitted to the jacket's sleeve is intended to make it faster for QA inspectors to snap specific sections of the plane.
One leg of the pants sports a smartphone holster which is likely to be loaded with an Airbus Q&A app (plus Angry Birds for some downtime fun).
That's connected via Bluetooth to an 'osteophone' earpiece which transmits voice calls through facial-bone vibrations to provide quality reception in areas with loud background noise.
But it's not all about the tech the jacket also has "a heated back support" panel, Airbus says, while the special fabrics used boast greater ease of movement and also include knee and shoulder protection.
Prototypes will be trotted out for worker approval in September ahead of production beginning on the final design early next year.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.