Imagine waiting hours at airport security to find yourself boarding a plane without windows. The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) of the U.K. hopes to achieve just that within ten years. The planes will utilize cameras on the outside and will project the footage live on OLED displays inside the aircraft, according to ABC News. This technology represents the future of air travel, one that is likely to draw shock value for the company, but will also alienate many customers who are uncomfortable with the floating sensation. For those of us that do not fear heights and also do not nap on planes, it will offer a unique and futuristic experience that will be well worth the adjustment.
When looking at the photo mock-ups of what these planes will look like from a passenger’s perspective, it’s easy to wonder if this is how our parents’ generation felt when computers were first adapted for consumer use. It seems unbelievable that there will be planes in the next decade that will show passengers what flying really means instead of making them feel trapped in a moving metal box. It seems imaginary– and it will remain that way for right now– but it should be a reality before the current college student population turns 35. This will be the way of travel in the future as we take our vacations, or travel for business.
This could also be a ploy from CPI to gain the monetary upswing the technology would provide by simply being the first to have planes with these features. It would presumably be financially lucrative, at least at first, given that many people would want to experience this new technology. Just remember, however, that if you do decide to fly in a plane like this and nap for part of the trip, it will be more than a little shocking when you open your eyes.
While the planes would attract some customers, the idea does have its drawbacks. As of right now, the design would project throughout the plane, leaving all passengers subject to its vertigo-inducing, head-spinning, yet beautiful visuals, according to the Today Show. For those who are afraid of heights, it’s unfair to subject every passenger to this non-traditional environment. If these planes do take off in another ten years, CPI and its competitors will need to ensure that other options are available for its uncomfortable passengers. They should certainly provide access to some type of off switch for your aisle, if feasible, as well as continuing to run flights without this technology.
While the strangeness of this technology will throw many passengers for a loop, it’s also important to consider what this means for ticket price. Plane tickets are already expensive enough, and new technology usually equals higher prices, as we’ve all seen with Apple and their products. However, in this case, the ticket price will probably be lower. It seems counterintuitive, but apparently by removing the windows on the planes, the plane weight will decrease thus decreasing fuel usage and other operational costs, according to ABC News. It should also increase individual passenger space, resulting in more room for less money. That certainly doesn’t interfere with CPI’s marketing strategies. Though, it would not be surprising in the slightest if CPI initially makes these plane tickets extremely expensive. Despite the decrease in costs on their end they may initially try to make more money by catering to the elite first. Then they could target the general populace later, once the novelty dies down.
Nevertheless, it would be quite an incredible experience to travel in a plane that emphasizes the awesome technology that we already have. It would also offer every passenger the feeling of having a window seat while keeping plane capacity approximately the same as current planes offer. This technology is the future of aviation and should certainly be implemented by CPI in the U.K, as well as U.S. companies over the next decade.You won’t be flying in one of these planes on your next flight home, but development is undergoing and, luckily, it’s not nearly as far from science fiction as it first appears.
Rebecca Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org