Here’s a video that caught my eye recently… a great example of how a different way of looking at things can come up with surprising and exciting design concepts – the windowless passenger aeroplane. “Blue sky thinking” perhaps? (Sorry.)
The idea is that by removing the windows from a commercial aircraft you can incorporate thinner walls into the design, potentially reducing weight, improving fuel efficiency and increasing passenger space.
In their place passengers can enjoy a panoramic flexible smart-screen technology that we are told will relay video from external cameras onto the interior walls of the fuselage, or enable passengers to use portions of the screen for their own personal use, such as surfing the internet…
If that’s a step too far then why not forget the panoramic view and simply have window-shaped screens? This will bring the afore-mentioned benefits without the radical and potentially scary lack of walls!
Taking this concept one step further – if it is accepted that we want some kind of window to the world (real or simulated) when travelling by air then then why do we accept a cabin without windows on a ship?
It’s a wonderful, Tomorrow’s World style vision of the future, but one that is dependent upon significant improvements in the technology before it becomes viable.
If I have a reservation, it’s how these screens would be used in the real world, highly competitive environment – will we simply become a captive audience to be bombarded with overwhelming advertising messages for the entire flight?
Time will tell!
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