Whether you board 1st or last, sip champagne or beg for an extra bag of honey roasted peanuts, the view from the plane is a democratically ho-hum experience from any seat. Tiny, frosted and scratched plastic windows – hardly changed since the era of propeller-based flights – offer the most modest and warped glimpses of outside. But in the possible future, travelers might be offered a flying experience not unlike IMAX, with an all-encompassing OLED display simulating sensory-stimulating views not unlike wearing an Oculus Rift headset.
British technology research company, CPI (Centre for Process Innovation), envisions a near future when planes will be outfitted with low resolution flexible OLED displays (just 150 ppi resolution) embedded into fuselage lining panels and across seat backs, extending the view from outside the plane into the inside cabin. These multi-screen panels can be used either as entertainment displays, lighting, and likely for cabin crew notification and safety presentations, and in the process reducing overall weight.
Of course the tradeoff will be aircraft outfitted with this speculated future display technology will lose windows altogether, and the possibility those fearful of flying might experience increased dread with an inescapable 180° view of flying thousands of feet above the sky surrounds them, not to mention whether this sort of technology will only be reserved for those with first class tickets, leaving us economy class fliers still fighting for a window seat.