The seat made from titanium and composites weighs just 4 kg (8.8 lbs) (in comparison the Recaro seats used by United weigh 11 kg). The seat caters to single-aisle aircraft bodies, including A320 and B737, for short and medium hauls and could save up to $500,000 per year per aircraft by reducing fuel consumption.
The company that is producing the seat is Expliseat, created in 2011 by three French guys. It never ceases to amaze me how small guys can come up with something better than big companies with tradition and expertise. And I mean manufacturing (not software where this is common); you would think the barrier of entry is high, especially anything related to aircraft (even if it is only a seat).
This news of the lightest airplane seat reminded me of a radio interview with a billionaire (forgot his name) who wanted to set-up a company to make electric cars (I don’t think it was Tesla) and he said his wife asked him: “What do you know what big companies don’t!?”. I forgot his answer either.