Fold-out gadget can double in-flight armrest space

Soarigami armrest. (Soarigami)

Soarigami armrest. (Soarigami)


, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

A team of US designers has come up with an origami-inspired fold-out device that could put an end to in-flight elbow wars once and for all.

Called Soarigami, the gadget attaches to armrests and extends into a pair of wing-like surfaces so that seatmates can share the coveted space.

Story goes, the idea came to developers in a moment of frustration. Fed up with designer's block, co-founder Grace Chang folded up her sketch into a paper airplane and threw it in the air.

"This became Soarigami's eureka moment," they say.

A flex spring 'landing gear' clamps securely on the armrest while wings unfold out into extended armrests.

It's a far departure from one of the most controversial in-flight gadgets, the Knee Defender, a device that prevents flyers from reclining their seatbacks and has been at the center of heated onboard fights.

The right to recline and the right to personal space has become a major issue in air travel this year, with three flights in the US forced to divert in the span of eight days after onboard blows and disruptive fights erupted in the skies.

"Unlike products like Knee Defender, Soarigami fosters a sharing environment that makes the skies just a bit friendlier, a bit savvier," said co-founder Arthur Chang in an email.

Soarigami will be available for pre-order in 2015. For details visit