Wow, what neat ideas some people have these days….
In a previous article (Supersonic Jet Ditches Windows for Massive Live-Streaming Screens) It was mentioned about a company that took away the cabin windows (to give it more strength) and replace them with a video display connected to a camera on either side of the plane. The result would be a huge simulated window on either side allowing the plane to go faster than before due to the added strength applied to the cabin. In another article (The ‘Sea View’ Windows On This Cruise Ship Are Actually TV Screens) another company put a video wall on one side of the cabin to simulate an outside window / door to a balcony to save space and pack more and more cabins internal to the boat while still giving an illusion of having an outside cabin. The video was connected to a camera on either side of the boat much like the plane mentioned earlier. The simulation on the boat was so realistic the software engineers had to add a fake railing to help the occupants in the cabin from fears of falling through the fake window / door into the ocean.
Video Display on Ship with Fake Rail
Now another company has made the plane video window to the next level (The IXION Windowless Jet Offers an Entirely New Way to Fly). While still having both video windows on either side of the plane, the company have also added a video system to the top of the cabin with cameras on the top of the plane to give a realistic 128 degrees of viewing from any seat. In other words the person sees the top and the sides of the plane from their seat in reference to their seat, like there was no top and sides to the plane. In testing of this system people who suffer in small places didn’t notice the confined areas you would notice in a real plane, maybe there is something to this technology?
In the new design of the plane video system being a video system that can be replaced with any other video display, if boggles the mind what could be shown. In the demo video (below) they show some examples of what the new system can display. I think it’s a great idea that maybe can still move forward. Think of it… Add the bottom display video to base video displays in the floor system and get the idea of truly flying with no plane… Personally on a 6+ hour flight seeing the clouds all around you where ever you look would be very boring after takeoff. Changing the video system to show something completely different to entertain the customer in the seat could be very challenging, not everyone has the same entertainment suggestions and this would be for the plane. In a private scenario this should be no problem, the guy paying for the flight gets entertained. In a public scenario I see many problems, does first class set the stage for the rest of the plane?
Don’t get me wrong, when taking off or landing in an airport system, the more you can see the more you can predict events as they happen (delays, weather, general viewing of the area). When looking through those small windows in the cabin of a normal plane, no mater how long I’ve lived in that area where the plane is circling I cannot recognize anything (it’s those small limiting windows). Now with a greater view of the area I’m sure one can see and recognize much more of the area in question (thus adding to the calm of the flight). In the demo video below they suggest changing the video to a space scene as an example, maybe it would be a good idea but many clouds all around vs black space with star matter all around for 6+ hours is still the same in my book.
In the 90’s the big thing to entertain an audience was the space simulators using motion simulators (Motion simulators), you get into a moving limited device with a video of a space simulation and the video would sync up the movements of the device. The result would be the customer would be entertained for up to an hour, could you extend the simulation to over 6 hours? If you wonder why I choose 6+ hours that is the average traveling distance by plane where most people get antsy, and let’s face it the more unhappy people are on a flight the less enjoyable the flight will be (just ask any flight crew).
Like I said before I think this is great technology, but it needs to tailored made to be more entertain-able to keep the customers happy. I don’t think is a great idea in use is the current position indicator that can be addressed by people at any time, don’t know about you but I only looked at that for maybe 3% of the flight. Maybe something more enjoyable along those lines to be showed during the flight? Still what a cool idea… Maybe Google could put that idea on their robot cars, give the idea of driving on air? (Just a thought)
The demo – IXION Windowless Jet Concept