Experiential air travel? It may seem like a concept straight out of The Matrix, but a UK aerospace company recently released images of its new windowless plane concept, which could revolutionise air travel entertainment – if the idea takes off.
In a vision of what the next generation of commercial aircraft could look like, the early-stage concept, which is based on technology used in mobile phones and televisions, hails from the UK-based tech innovation company Centre for Process Innovation (CPI).
The basic idea is simple: instead of windows, the interior walls of the aircraft will be covered with flexible, uber-light smartscreen panels that will be constructed of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED’s) – which are a combination of materials that give out their own light when activated by electricity.
The CPI unveiled a video showing concept art for the aircraft, which demonstrates the impressive scope of OLED technology.
Through the screens, passengers will be able to see the view from outside the plane (relayed by cameras mounted on the exterior of the aircraft), surf the web, watch movies, or even conduct work video conferences. The screens will also be used for lighting, by emulating the sunrise and sunset on long haul journeys.
If the concept is realised, it will transform the flying experience as we know it. The immersive technology will enable passengers to see unique points of interest up close and in real-time, such as the International Space Station and other aircraft. They will be immersed in an unobstructed, 360 degree view of the environment outside of the plane, thereby heightening the experience. However, if the view from outside the plane induces vertigo, passengers will be able to switch the screen view to something more palatable.
As CPI has shown with the windowless aeroplane, the potential for OLED display technology is vast.
Earlier this year, LG revealed its 18″ transparent OLED screen – the largest ever flexible and transparent display screen to hit the market. The unique feature of the screen is that it has a curvature radius of 30R and can be rolled up to a radius of 3cm.
The flexibility of the screen opens up all sorts of possibilities for advertisers and broadcasters, from moving displays in eye-catching shapes, to unusual configurations.
The technology could also transform the future of smartphones and wearable technology – as this concept smartphone by Ikev demonstrates.
Instead of simply creating a rollup phone, the flexphone uses flexible OLED technology to enable users to turn the phone into a gaming device, tablet PC, or fully fledged media-player. Users will be able to flip photos from one screen to another, shifting form-factors to easily morph the screen into whatever device they need it to be.
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