Airbus Patent Wants Virtual Reality Helmets in Every Airplane

Airbus Patent Wants Virtual Reality Helmets in Every Airplane

Airbus VR Helmets 310x

The future is...funnily-drawn people on an airplane with astronaut helmet-looking apparatus on their heads.

Airbus wants to make your cramped, miserable flying experience a little more tolerable. And how's that? By attaching a virtual reality headset to every seat in an airplane.

A new patent filed with the USPTO details such a rollout, and the initial rollout is equal parts genius, and comical. The headset would be attached to your seat's headrest, and the contraption would unfold over and in front of your head. The final form looks like an open-air astronaut helmet, complete with headphones for audio.

Passengers could use the headset to watch movies or TV, as a display for some sort of computer (be it connected to your personal device, or some sort of onboard/cloud based machine), or just as a distraction from the outside world. The possibilities here are numerous, from enhancing the things you already do on a plane (the aforementioned movies and music), to new experiences -- holodeck, anyone?

There are still a lot of blanks to fill in, like what kind of display would be used. The patent references "opto-electronic" displays (which sounds like the LCD-and-optics setup used by Oculus), but future technology would determine the final product. In fact, much of this will likely rely on how the world embraces virtual reality, both on cultural and technological levels.

The initial scenario -- VR at every seat -- is thoughtful, but like any other airline perk? You know it's going to be Business- or First-Class exclusive, at least in the beginning.

Source: Business Insider

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Thank you Rift, you've brought the VRpocolipse upon us all. Now the machines will rebel and create the Matrix and use our brains for processing (screw the execs who think viewers are idiots)

Who knew that Airbus is ran by hardcore gamers, who are well-known to be the only niche that would ever be interested in VR?

With this tech they can cram us all on top of each other like cattle in unfurnished freight planes while making us think we're each on our own private Gulfstreams. Traveling in style.

Considering airlines barely stay out of the red as it is with all of their cost-cutting and penny pinching... How they could ever afford VR sets on every plane for every passenger is a concept far beyond me. They can barely tolerate the amount they pay for FUEL.

Wait, what exactly are they patenting? The concept of attaching a VR headset to a chair? The concept of putting those chairs into rows? The concept of putting those rows on a plane?

The Patent office should've looked at this, said "Nope." then threw it in the trash.

Sidmen:
Wait, what exactly are they patenting? The concept of attaching a VR headset to a chair? The concept of putting those chairs into rows? The concept of putting those rows on a plane?

The Patent office should've looked at this, said "Nope." then threw it in the trash.

It says the patent has been filed, not accepted.

OT: I'll stick with my DS, thanks. This just seems like a dumb, expensive gimmick.

A more important question is: Can this thing mute crying babies? Because if not, they should have different priorities.

Good to see that Airbus is forging a new path in combining two things already known for making people vomit.

Crackerjacks:
Considering airlines barely stay out of the red as it is with all of their cost-cutting and penny pinching... How they could ever afford VR sets on every plane for every passenger is a concept far beyond me. They can barely tolerate the amount they pay for FUEL.

Compared to the cost of an airplane, these VR systems will probably be just a drop in the bucket. The new Oculus Rift is $350. So even if you don't get a bulk discount, a plane with 300 seats is still "only" going to run you $105k. An Airbus A380 will run you a little over $400M...so the VR system would add just 0.02% to the cost. They would easily pay off that difference in less than a year just charging people for the VR service.

See Shamus' article for how that's going to be really tricky... air sick bags at the ready!

Do those things come with fart filtering technology? We can't enter the next age of advancement without them.

Entitled:
Who knew that Airbus is ran by hardcore gamers, who are well-known to be the only niche that would ever be interested in VR?

They aren't, but given how much people hate modern flying to begin with, anything that makes it even a modicum more bearable gives them an edge in the market. Hell, I remember flying before mp3 players, and all my transoceanic flights essentially consisted of me doping myself up so that I would sleep between 5 minutes after wheels up to 2 minutes before they touch the ground again or burning through at least one and sometimes two paperbacks to kill time. It's kind of an unbearably boring thing, flying, when you take away the perks.

So... sorry Boeing, but I think AB just straight up fucking won with this one...

Great idea.

Except you'd have to turn off all your electronic devices when on the plane, which might be a problem.

Yes, I know that's an old rule they don't tend to enforce anymore

You know, this reminds me of a bit from The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy.

I believe it was shortly after Zaphod Beeblebrox was fed into the Total Perspective Vortex and came out perfectly fine. He was looking for a way off of the planet when he came upon a downed spaceship. The ship was full of people who were being kept in support perpetually as the robot-run flight repeatedly apologized for the inconvenience and reassured that the flight would resume itself shortly.

They had been there for years.

There they were, kept in their chairs by stasis and virtual entertainment, practically endlessly. The ship was never going to get off the ground, but they wouldn't let anybody move. They even almost took Zaphod himself. I remember thinking that the people there were utterly stupid, but it was also true that the machines supporting them were also a few microchips short of a motherboard. I suppose the point I'm making here is that having everybody on the plane off in VR may be a bad idea. You might miss something important.

This would be good, i wouldn't have to deal with the reality of my plane spiraling out of the sky into the ground, i could live in blissful ignorance all the way until its all over!

Um... Airbus? You really ought not be taking inspiration from Pixar here.


Seriously, this is not the future we want to see.
Would the "stahp" meme be out of the question here?

consider the nausea that goes along with alot of these systems. putting it on a plane will work out real well. obviously a plan to increase sales of sick bags to airlines

Am I the only one thinking:

1. Attach a camera to the nose of the plane
2. Allow camera feed to be accessible using the VR

SlightlyEvil:
Good to see that Airbus is forging a new path in combining two things already known for making people vomit.

This was my reaction, too...how is this *NOT* going to cause serious nausea problems? You've already got the 'flying at high speeds but not feeling it' disconnect, so how is adding 'and also not actually moving at medium speeds left and right but seeing it' to the mix going to help?

Cool, they've found a way to make flying more claustrophobic. You hadn't panicked enough about your extreme lack of space yet, so we're going to put a bucket on your head!

To be fair, if they make it work well and it reduces the discomfort I experience when flying (too many people, too much noise, not enough space, smells of sick and really high up), then I'm all for it. But I don't want to pay much.

What would happen when turbulence hit? Would everyone get a concussion?

Lets all stick our entire head into the bucket the last guy has been sneezing and coughing into for 5 hours!

Okay, great idea.

Let's give the airlines even more reason to charge us further for their unnecessary expenses which only go towards making sure that everyone is entertained at every waking moment.

Seriously, what happened to people having races with the water droplets on the window, fiddling with paperclips and rubberbands for hours on end ,or heck even sleep?

actually thats a great idea. a flight means you have MANY hours to sit around doing nothing in cramped space with strangers. it also means some of these strangers are panicking. this way you get to do something while your flying and also while doing so not panic for those that get flight panic attacks.

Urgh76:

Seriously, what happened to people having races with the water droplets on the window, fiddling with paperclips and rubberbands for hours on end ,or heck even sleep?

we found more fun ways to spend our time? theres only so many times you can race water droplets before it gets boring. sleep is sadly a requirement to keep this biological prison working, but only until we find a way to upload consciousness.

Strazdas:

Urgh76:

Seriously, what happened to people having races with the water droplets on the window, fiddling with paperclips and rubberbands for hours on end ,or heck even sleep?

we found more fun ways to spend our time? theres only so many times you can race water droplets before it gets boring. sleep is sadly a requirement to keep this biological prison working, but only until we find a way to upload consciousness.

I seriously feel terrible for you man.

Finding immense joy in these small meaningless things has become one of the best parts of life for me.

Urgh76:

Strazdas:

Urgh76:

Seriously, what happened to people having races with the water droplets on the window, fiddling with paperclips and rubberbands for hours on end ,or heck even sleep?

we found more fun ways to spend our time? theres only so many times you can race water droplets before it gets boring. sleep is sadly a requirement to keep this biological prison working, but only until we find a way to upload consciousness.

I seriously feel terrible for you man.

Finding immense joy in these small meaningless things has become one of the best parts of life for me.

Good for you. i too got joy from things people may consider meaningless, they do not include sitting around in a plane for hours though.

 

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