Hyperloop CEO shows off augmented reality window concept


AUSTIN, TEXAS — Hyperloop’s vision for future transportation may involve traveling at the speed of sound in enclosed tubes but that doesn't mean you won’t be able to look out the window.

During a talk at South by Southwest Sunday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Alhborn showed off a new concept for augmented reality windows that would allow passengers to "look" out the windows during rides.

See also: Hyperloop pens deal that could connect Slovakia, Austria and Hungary

The idea, which he called "Augmented Windows," would not just show the world immediately outside, but would also be used as an entertainment experience or as a means to display advertising or other information to passengers. Though not the first time Ahlborn has teased such an idea, Sunday's presentation was the most detailed description we've heard yet and the CEO showed a new video of the idea.

The technology is apparently a lot more complicated than just overlaying a screen onto the windows.

"These screens use head tracking to see where you're looking and, based on your position, we are actually manipulating the image so that you have the same feeling as looking out the window," Ahlborn said. "And we are working on ways that multiple people can be looking out the same window."

He noted that the technology could also be used as an additional source of revenue for the company through advertising.

"Psychologically, it's really important to have the possibility to look out of the window, but also it's an experience. Imagine, you can be in a virtual world and travel through Jurassic World, Terminator land and maybe your trip is sponsored by those companies through the advertising."

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