Sunday, September 25, 2005

Inflight features + entertainment

While watching news reports earlier this week about the plane that had to land with its front wheel turned sideways, I was interested in the fact that the passengers on the actual plane were able to watch live footage of their dangerous situation. Fortunately the pilot managed to land the plane safely, but imagine how freaky it must have been for the passengers prior to landing. Experiencing this while watching the whole thing live on individual televisions (along with millions of others on the ground) is a pretty whack situation.

This made me think about the features available to passengers on planes in general, and how far they have come from the early days of commercial flights. Individual screens for every seat is an excellent way for people to choose how to spend their flights. Entertainment features such as movies, games, and music, provide the passenger with a variety of things to do. Other features such as GPS imaging, current flight statistics, transmission of images from cameras on the outside of the plane, destination information, and live news programmes create a place whereby the passenger feels more aware of, and involved in, their mode of transportation.

The situation created in the above event demonstrates a unique experience through technology. Live news broadcasts onboard reduce the segregation from "Earth" that is created from being in the air, but I wonder if watching their plane live on TV increased or reduced the anxiety of the passengers? It would have enforced the seriousness of the situation and made people aware of the potential for disaster (not something people want to hear!). Yet, it may have comforted some in the form of knowing just what was happening. Pretty freaky stuff either way!

-Shannon Doherty


At 11:08 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

when i saw that story it reminded me of a film i watched the other day called Strange Days, directed by Kathryn Bigalow (sp) Think it came out in 1995 but could be wrong..

Anyway the thing that i was reminded about was this squid like thing that the characters put on their heads to immerse themselves in someone elses reality.. from what i remember clients would pay for people to go put the squid things on their head which would would tap into the cortex of the brian ( i don't know how to describe it properly as i am not a science geek :p) and would then go out and do something with it attached, like rob a bank.. hook up with some girls.. or just your everyday banal stuff.. and it would get recorded for the client, they pay to get copies of these replications of reality and then put one of those squid things on their head and it is like seeing two realities at once.. their recorded reality and the reality you are seeing with your open eyes (better shut your eyes then)

but anyway, on to the point.. later on in the movie (SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN IT) there is this plot about trying to track down a serial rapist who carries one of those squidlike appendages on his head under a wig, and then he gets the women and puts one on them, forcing them to watch themselves being raped from his point of view.. i cannot begin to imagine how that would feel.. a whole range of conflicting emotions that would seriously screw with my head, at the same time as being frightened out of my wits and screaming at the pain i would also be experiencing his pleasure in the act, they even can feel his pleasure from stabbing them while feeling the excruciating pain of being stabbed. Pretty mindboggling..

But yeah it was just interesting how a similar thing happened on that plane, although not quite as extreme it would have still been highly disturbing for the passengers, seeing your own fate played out right in front of you..

you should definatly go watch Strange Days though if you have a spare couple of hours :)

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Shan said...

Thanks, sounds interesting! Will check it out :)


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