Social seating with a twist as Satisfly puts airlines in control, seeks patentsNewsBy Linda Fox | May 29, 2012Share This article was originally published on The social seating storm that arguably began late last year with KLM is gathering in intensity as Satisfly has unveiled Air Baltic as the first partner for its service.Here's the difference however, while KLM Meet & Seat lets travellers pick their seat companion, Satisfly puts control in the hands of the airline, thus removing that creepy element that many fear.From tomorrow, the airline will open up SeatBuddy, a white-label version of Satisfly on its website with passengers choosing their flight mood - social or non-social - and whether they'd like their seat neighbour to be like them or different.The concept, which has been in development for more than three years, uses Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find the best matches, assigns seats and passengers get a message saying what they have in common with their seat pal.While the service does have an interface with end users, the plan is for it to be a B2B application and boss Sergio Mello doesn't believe it can work otherwise. "If you go B2C you will not have enough users on the flight to make the system work. The social passenger share on a flight will probably be a small share, say 10/20, if only 1 or 2% use the app, it's a small number. With Satisfly we cater to all users, the social and non-social."Share this quote Satisfly isn't the first with social seating, as well as Meet & Seat, there is Facebelt, a mobile social seating app and there are also rumblings in the market about a launch from SeatID.However, Mello says Satisfly is 'counting on conquering the market' and he is seeking patent on the intelligent seating technology (one is already in place in Italy), which kicks in if a system is collecting user data, processing it to understand the best matches and assigning seats accordingly.The technology also enables airlines to offer ancillary services and allow passengers to see who, amongst Facebook friends, have used a particular service, bought a product or visited a destination.Mello says the service could be extended to other transport such as trains in the future.