Video: Immersive Flight Simulation Dome Offers Seamless, Super-Real 360-Degree Views

Barco's R-360 Flight Simulation Dome

Barco

Barco, a maker of large-format projector technologies, has just unveiled what it is calling a breakthrough in flight simulator technology, and for all the hardware involved we're inclined to agree that his must be something big. The new flight simulator dome--it's really more like a sphere--offers state of the art high-res visuals and full 360-degree views, allowing fighter pilot trainees to spot other aircraft from 12 miles away.

That's something of a step up from that flight simulator you used to play on your mom's PC. The dome is bathed in light from 13 or 14 10-megapixel projectors, which are calibrated by laser to ensure complete crispness in picture. The projectors can also display imagery in infrared so pilots can train for night flights--wearing night vision, pilots actually see the blooming and halo effects caused by night vision technology.

That kind of realism is critical to ensuring pilots are prepared for real-world scenarios, the company says, and should help launch a new generation of similar simulators designed around a completely immersive experience in which several pilots can actually work together to carry out a mission rather than just run through a set of programmed scenarios.

The setups are configurable and customizable so you'll have to call up Barco if you want a price quote. The video below is mostly an extended commercial for the product, but it does provide some nice views from inside the cockpit.