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Airbus' helmet display concept would take your mind off your flight

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 17, 2014
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If you've ever been on a long flight, you've probably wanted to tune out your fellow passengers -- and plugging in some headphones is only going to do so much. If Airbus ever brings a recently patented helmet display to market, though, you may never have to put up with mid-air distractions again. The headrest-mounted wearable would combine headphones with visor-projected video, producing "sensorial isolation" while you're watching movies, listening to music or playing games. It could even beam a virtual keyboard on to the tray or seat back, so you wouldn't need controllers that take up your already limited space.

If you think this all sounds too good to be true, you'd be right -- at least, for now. Airbus tells Wired that there aren't any current plans to outfit aircraft with a helmet like this. The company is mostly protecting ideas so that a rival doesn't try this first. A projected visor display isn't likely to be cheap, either, given that it's the sort of technology normally reserved for fighter jets. Even so, it's good to know that at least one aircraft maker could use technology to make your long-haul trips a little more bearable.

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