This Ingestible Pill Could Stop Jet Lag for Good

A man in a grey hoodie sleeping in an airplane seat and experiencing jet lag
Getty Images / Scott Gries

Jet lag has plagued researchers for decades and while scientists say they might be close to finding a cure, right now there isn’t much available to passengers beyond temporary fixes like melatonin or Ambien. But British Airways wants to change all that.

The airline has developed an ingestible sensor in the form of a pill that will track your biometric data to create the best flight experience possible.

According to a recent patent filed by the company, the new technology aims to alleviate jet lag by personalizing the sleeping, eating, and exercise schedule of passengers. Signals from the pill would be transmitted wirelessly to a computer that would log the data and make suggestions accordingly. It could also be used to inform seating conditions, lighting, and even the cabin temperature in areas surrounding the passenger.

This patent diagram shows exactly how data would be transferred from the stomach sensor.

Virgin Atlantic introduced an app with similar intentions in 2010, but British Airways’ invention takes the technology to the next level by reducing the need for flyers to manually input information.

Researchers at MIT developed a pill that uses soundwaves to track vital signs.


One of the biggest hurdles with the technology is making sensors that can retain a charge once ingested, though researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have been working on an ingestible that runs on stomach acid.

And even if you aren’t a frequent flyer, the pill could still be good news. According to the patent, the invention could also be applicable to other travel environments such as queasy bus rides.

Of course, you might be wondering what exactly you do with the sensor after your flight is done. While British Airways doesn’t outline an exit protocol in its patent, MIT’s pill is designed to exit the digestive track within two days.