Royal Caribbean uses 80-inch HDTVs to create virtual balconies

An article I wrote for Electronic Products.

80-inch HD displays show close to real-time video from the front and back of a cruise ship

Booked your cruise too late and missed out on a window suite? There’s no reason to be bummed out, because for latecomers who would like the waterside experience, Royal Caribbean is offering what they call “virtual balcony staterooms.”

Royal Caribbean Virtual Balcony HDTV

Made of 80-inch floor-to-ceiling HD displays, the TVs show close to real-time video from the bow and stern of the ship, shot on RED Epic HD cinema cameras, complete with audio. In order to operate correctly in the sun, heat, salt and water, the cameras are marine compliant and weathertight. Fiber-optic cable carries the video to a server, then to a set-top box that decodes and processes the video before it’s displayed on the screen.

Royal Caribbean Virtual Balcony Guests

Guests can take control of their view by using an in-room remote to switch between cameras to get the live feed of what people with real windows are seeing. There’s even a banister included on the pseudo window for a feeling of safety.

A total of eighty-one interior staterooms aboard the 15-deck Navigator of the Seas are equipped with the large, realistic displays. If the idea sounds nauseating, know that Control Group, the company responsible for creating the rooms, worked with experts from M.I.T. and Harvard to make sure the experience of moving differently than what you see on the screen doesn’t make you seasick.

Story via Wired.

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