There may be no such thing as a window seat on the airliners of the future. A concept released by the U.K.’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) envisions airliners with thinner walls, made by doing away with cabin windows altogether. In their place, CPI sees OLED screens lining entire interior walls, which would show passengers the sky around them.
Weirdly, the OLED screens aren’t CPI’s selling point. Instead, their stated goal is fuel efficiency. A lighter airplane uses less fuel, and ultimately generates fewer emissions. From CPI:
Riding a metal tube through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour is strange enough with only a small portal to see the world below. Using OLED screens instead of windows means that passengers could see much much more of the sky than they’re used too. (Perhaps too much, if these humorous photoshopped versions of the concept art are any indication).
OLED screens are thin, lightweight, and flexible. Arrayed in panels along the cabin walls and ceiling, the screens could show the outside world (as captured by wide-angle panoramic cameras on the outside of the plane) at a resolution of 150 dpi. CPI expects that the technologies needed to manufacture large OLED panels will be ready in about five years. Introduction into airplanes, along with airplanes specifically made without windows, will come later.
Until then, enjoy every window seat.
Watch a video about the concept below: