Airbus’s Plans for Interactive Smart Glass in Future Plane Windows Are Revealed

Airbus’s Plans for Interactive Smart Glass in Future Plane Windows Are Revealed
Augustine Reyes Chan
March 31, 2015
In the future, when you’re traveling on a plane, you’ll have unparalleled and unobstructive views of landmarks below, and all you’ll have to do is tap on your window to learn about its history and how it was built.
Sound intriguing? Airbus thinks it is, which is why the airline just filed a U.S. patent on its smart window on March 19. The aim is to give flyers a unique, interactive travel experience that allows them to find out where they are and learn about the sights they see by tapping on the touchscreen window, just like on an iPad.
You won’t have to sit in the window seat to see what you’re looking at below since the large, sweeping windows that stretch up onto the roof of the plane will provide ample, natural light from the skies and allow all passengers to enjoy the view.
The Concept Plane, as Airbus calls it, is set to revolutionize the travel industry and will be built using a bionic structure coated with a biopolymer membrane that “mimics the bone structure of birds.” The biopolymer membrane is both light and strong, and the structure will serve to reduce the aircraft’s weight at the same time that it will allow for oversized doors for easier boarding and windows with 360 degree views. Airbus calls these windows “transparent walls” because they will offer unobstructed views of everything from the pyramids to the London Eye.
In addition, holographic technology will allow for projections onto the walls, with private cabins able to reflect, say, your home, or even a zen garden to make you centered and calm. The aim, Airbus says, is for the “virtual world” to be “indistinguishable from the real.”
The Concept Plane will include a designated work/play area that can be transformed into space for virtual golf, Skype-like conference calls and a lounge bar. There will also be in-flight entertainment powered by the heat of your body, and you won’t need to be in first class to take advantage of the “self-cleaning,” fully-reclinable chairs with ample leg space.
This all sounds great, but do we really have to wait until 2050 to ride this plane?
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