We have crash test dummies for use in vehicles, but what about being halfway up in the air as you cross continents, flying at a breakneck speed? Boeing decided to enlist the help of the base material that one uses to make a fantastic snack of chips – potatoes. Yes sir, Boeing recently piled up 20,000 pounds of potatoes in the seats of a decommissioned plane in order to test wireless signals. I guess that it was easier to see what happened to the potatoes instead of humans, no? After all, tubers in the potatoes would mimic the way the human body responds to electronic signals in a similar manner.
Thanks to the “sacrifice” that the potatoes made, Boeing achieved what they call a “breakthrough” in the procedures that it relies to evaluate wireless signals in cabins, touting that it will be “possible for passengers to enjoy more reliable connectivity when using networked personal electronic devices in the air.” These procedures saves plenty of time along the way (and money, too), reducing the amount to test wireless signals from two weeks to a mere 10 hours. Better WiFi signals in planes, here we come!
There’s a happy ending for the potatoes, as they did not mutate into something else, but were donated to a food bank after.