A Cure For Jet Lag? Take A Photon Shower Courtesy Of Delta At TED2013

Wieden+Kennedy New York built the device—designed to alleviate jet lag via light therapy—to promote Delta’s commitment to making it easier for its passengers to get some shut-eye.

A Cure For Jet Lag? Take A Photon Shower Courtesy Of Delta At TED2013

Did you arrive at TED2013 yesterday feeling jet lagged?


Step into the Photon Shower provided by Delta and emerge feeling rejuvenated.

The idea for the device came out of a talk that creatives from Delta’s agency, Wieden + Kennedy New York, had with sleep expert Dr. Russell Foster. Foster is speaking about how light can be used to realign our body clocks when we are jet-lagged at a Delta-sponsored TED2013 lunch today. “He casually suggested that people might someday ‘bathe in light’ in a kind of ‘photon shower’ in order to help their jet-lagged brains recover. This lit up our imaginations immediately,” says W+K creative Catherine McCurry. “We started sketching some designs of what that might be like. We pitched it to our client, got the green light, brought London production company Nexus on board, and started making the photon shower a reality.”

Building a photon shower, the first of its kind, was a complex undertaking. “Not only was there the build of the physical structure, there was the app to run the device, there was animation that had to be created to project the blue light in an elegant way, there was an algorithm that had to be developed to create custom jet-lag therapy calendars that users could take home, all the way down to a very specific sound design,” explains W+K creative Jamie Carreiro, noting, “Our partners at Q Department created synesthetic ambient audio derived from the exact light wavelength used in the installation itself. It was a delightfully multimedia process.”

The result is a truly unique space. “When you step inside, the small structure of the shower disappears, and the environment becomes surprisingly expansive,” Carreiro says. “Using an infinity mirror setup, we made the space feel much larger than it actually is.”

Those who want to bathe in the photon shower simply input their travel data on a touch screen and are then guided through the personalized experience by narration and ambient sound. “Flowing blue animations appear before you on the LED wall. They’re particularly impactful because these LED panels are typically used for large on-stage displays, so being right up close to a screen like this is really rare. It has a strong effect,” according to McCurry. “At times, it really feels like it’s raining light.”

While the photon shower was designed specifically for TED2013, Delta might find other uses for the innovative device, according to a representative for the company.


It was designed to illustrate–in a fun and creative way–how serious Delta is about ensuring its passengers can sleep on its planes while they are en route to their destinations.

For all the complaints we have about air travel, most of us would probably be a lot less grumpy if we could enjoy some shut-eye during flights.

In the coming months, Delta will provide BusinessElite passengers with Westin Heavenly In-Flight bedding sets, install full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite cabins on a number of transcontinental flights, introduce a white noise channel on Delta Radio, and implement a number of cabin procedures to ensure passengers won’t be awakened by bright lights and other disruptions.

About the author

Christine Champagne is a New York City-based journalist best known for covering creativity in television and film, interviewing the talent in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes. She has written for outlets including Emmy, Variety,, Redbook, Time Out New York and