Telepresence features on Airbus 2050 concept plane

[From Wired; more information including the excerpts that follow the story below, more images and video clips, is available in the Airbus report here]


Airbus shows off the sustainable and panoramic plane of 2050

By Mark Brown
14 June 11

Conceptual soothsayers at plane-builder Airbus have gazed 40 years into the future, to show what the aircraft cabin of 2050 might look like.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the claustrophobic fuselage shell is gone, now replaced by panoramic views of the sky above you. This is achieved by a twisting bionic structure — inspired by bird skeletons — and a transparent membrane.

Instead of splitting passengers up by class, they’ll be divided by the activities they want to engage in during the long haul trip. These personalised zones could become an interactive conference room with business partners on the ground, or a virtual reality golf course.

In another partition is the “vitalising zone”, which has air enriched with vitamins and antioxidants, acupressure treatment and and smart chairs that can morph to fit your body shape.

Airbus reckons that an influx of female and older travellers (“the number of people over 60 years old will increase by more than three times by 2050,” Airbus says) will create a demand for health and relaxation facilities.

The concept cabin would be environmentally friendly, too. Airbus says it pumps more than two billion Euros a year into environmentally beneficial technologies, which means the concept plane would be 100 percent recyclable. Sustainable plant fibres would be used to create self-cleaning materials and passenger body heat would be harvested to power your VR golf game.

“Such technologies are already being developed,” Airbus declares. “While they may not be seen in the exact same manner as in the Airbus Concept Plane and Cabin, some of them could feature in future Airbus aircraft programmes.”

The concept will be shown off in all its glory with a 360 planetarium movie at Le Bourget International Airshow in Paris later this month.

[Excerpt from the Interaction Zone page of the Airbus Concept Plane site: ]

Pop-up pods will offer more private spaces that can be used for anything from virtual business meetings or lectures to a romantic meal or reading a bedtime story to the kids back home, with global connectivity and holographic projections adapted to the needs of each user. A virtual shopping wall will project clothes directly on to passengers and the virtual gaming wall will let tennis, baseball and even golf fans get in a bit of practice, while the more adventurous will be able to try out newer options like Airbus Fusion Ball game, which lets you play catch across the skyscrapers of New York or the peaks of the Himalayas!

[Excerpt from the Future Technologies page of the Airbus Concept Plane site: ]

Holographic Technology

Scenes showing the destination, a city skyline or a tropical forest, will be projected onto the walls. A private cabin can reflect your bedroom at home, a business conference or even a zen garden, thanks to the projection of virtual decors. Holographic technology will have advanced to such a degree that the virtual world will be indistinguishable from the real.


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