Boeing Uses Potatoes to Improve In-Flight Wireless Internet
Boeing Airlines is using 20,000 pounds of potatoes to fill their seats in place of passengers while running tests on their in-flight wireless internet.
Dubbed SPUDS, Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution, potatoes reportedly have similar interactions with electric waves as humans making them the perfect substitution. According to the report in the International Science Times, the airline’s scientists came up with the idea after reading an article in the Journal of Food Science.
According to the United Kingdom’s Potato Council, spuds have been used for more than just improving WiFi. “[The examples are] in paper and ink manufacturing, potato starch is used in clothing to strengthen the fibers so they don’t break during weaving, and for sweetening – glucose can be extracted from potato starch,” the Council’s spokeswoman told BBC News. “For beauty and sores – potatoes have calming, decongestant and astringent properties and raw potatoes can calm tired eyes, potatoes can be used to make alcohol and potatoes can produce electricity.”
For Boeing, an added benefit is that the potatoes, unlike humans, don’t get bored sitting in the seats on a plane for hours on end. After the tests were completed, the potatoes were donated to a local food bank.