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No Windows in Space

No Windows in Space

Many representations of life in space include windows in the walls of space ships and space dwellings. There will be no windows in space. As an engineering consideration, windows are “factory installed leaks”. Our electronics continue to grow smaller, more flexible and are starting to become built in to everything in our environment. It will be simple to include video sensors at many points on a space hull and do the same thing on the interior surface to provide monitoring viewpoints everywhere, even creating the illusion, if desired, of a totally transparent hull.

The first article below suggests that cameras should not be used to replace mirrors in cars. But this is not right. Instead, cameras should be used to replace all of the windows and provide a drivers viewpoint with no blind spots.

The next article describes using a goggle system to create virtual reality vision for driving tanks. And again, this is a limited thought. With many cameras and many display surfaces, the external view that is needed for guiding the tank could be blended with internal instrumentation creating an “augmented visual cockpit” with no goggles required, allowing the operator maximum natural movement inside the cockpit.

Cameras Instead of Mirrors? Not so Fast Says Experts – [spectrum.ieee.org]

So, if we replace our old mirrors with shiny new side and rear visibility technology, this means we can say goodbye to all that pesky shoulder checking, right? Wrong.

“The model of just backing up looking at a camera is not what we’re looking for,” says Bryan Reimer, a human factors expert at MIT’s AgeLab. His latest research focuses on how to teach drivers to trust and comprehend new automotive technology. Reimer cautions that drivers should not solely rely on cameras to view their blind spots. Instead, drivers should use cameras as assistive technology to help effectively monitor their surroundings.

Norwegian army testing Oculus Rift virtual goggles system for tank drivers – [phys.org]

The Norwegian army has announced that they have begun testing the possibility of using the Oculus Rift virtual goggle system in tanks to help expand the field of view for soldiers inside. Such a system would help tank drivers navigate during battlefield operations when the hatch is down, limiting vision for those attempting to maneuver the vehicle during wartime.


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