A top down view of the Jamco Vantage Pristine seat, with sparkling white and light grey seat accents emphasizing the antimicrobial aspects of the seat

Jamco reveals new antimicrobial seat, Venture Pristine

Details and Design banner with text on graph paper backgroundIf the aircraft interiors story of 2020 was figuring out how to get aircraft clean, the story of 2021 seems set to be designing cleanliness into the seats themselves, using antimicrobial materials that add an additional layer of protection against everything from bacteria to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. With its updated Venture Pristine product, seatmaker Jamco is taking a first step towards offering just that, baked into the company’s existing Venture outward-facing herringbone seat.

To learn more, Runway Girl Network sat down over a video call with Jeremy Hunter, senior sales and marketing manager, John Cornell, senior manager for research and development and manufacturing engineering, and Allen Gipson, vice president for corporate planning.

Pristine “is a brand,” Hunter tells RGN. “It’s a trim and finish development that is currently underway within Jamco to maximise the clean trim and finish solutions for our seating products.”

The baseline seat architecture of Pristine, as seen on a show floor

Structurally, Pristine is upgrading purely the trim and finish compared with the base Venture model, seen here at AIX 2019. Image: John Walton

Essentially, Pristine is a ‘branded clean’ update of the seat with antimicrobial materials incorporated throughout, leveraging the design of the seat — with its lack of cubbyholes, storage compartments and grime-attracting nooks and crannies — into functional benefits.

Jamco’s original concept for Venture was to create a herringbone with a markedly reduced part count, with fewer joins and seams than other seats. This brings production and maintenance benefits even in a world without COVID-19’s laser focus on cleanliness, but when many airlines are trying to make their aircraft visibly cleaner than ever before, it’s even more valuable.

The Pristine seat is shown with whites, greys and blues to emphasize the antimicrobial properties of the seat

It’s no surprise that Pristine is being presented with bright whites, light greys and clean blues. Image: Jamco

With claims of antimicrobial and antiviral efficacy strictly regulated by governments, Jamco is currently analysing what level of anti-microbial certification makes the most sense for the Pristine brand of seats. As other companies have experienced over the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the urgent medical need for testing laboratories and staff from regulators like the US Environmental Protection Agency has meant delays in this sort of certification.

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In particular, certifying materials that are effective against other coronavirii as officially effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in particular has been complicated. It may therefore end up that, as in other fields, the work being done relies on a product’s effectiveness against other coronavirii, using the (in many ways reasonable) hypothesis that it will be proven effective here too, once laboratory tests can be carried out.

Fundamentally, “the labs are busy,” Cornell sums up, noting that in addition “it’s just, simply, to this date difficult to get a hold of the actual coronavirus to do any tests with.”

As of late January 2021, he notes, “we’re getting to the point where the EPA is allowing claims to be submitted, and it was 90 days or something like that just to kind of get a response from the EPA. [This] is the current schedule: that’s just one stamp of ‘yes, we received your claim, and we’ll look into it’.”

“We have received some initial interest” from airlines, Hunter says, although right now “it’s very general at this point in time. As we can see, we’re starting 2021 and airlines are really starting to get back to their future planning.”

As for the future of Pristine, Hunter muses, “we may very well maintain that brand name in the future, if and when we add on to additional products. It’s not guaranteed, though, but we’ll consider that as we progress.”

A close-up of and Pristine, showing the in-seat IFE screen, side storage and seat controls.

The Pristine brand may be seen on other seats too. Image: Jamco

Branded clean seats may well be an interesting option for airlines, but one big question that remains is how to design the presentation and marketing of them to passengers. Another big question is whether — or for how long — passengers will consider cleanliness to be a figurative “hygiene factor” as well as a literal one. Will this sort of seat be almost mandatory in the future? And if so, how will airlines, seatmakers, parts manufacturers and materials suppliers reflect the increased cost of certification, testing and production?

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Featured image credit to Jamco