Bad Rooms on the New Royal Caribbean Ship Come with Virtual BalconiesS

Hey there, world traveller. Say you want to go on a cruise but can't afford a fancy oceanfront room on the Empress deck. No big deal! Royal Caribbean's got you covered.

No, Royal Caribbean is not offering deep discounts on their best rooms. The cruise line is actually installing 80-inch HD displays in the interior staterooms on its new ship, Navigator of the Seas, in order to provide the illusion of an ocean view. The animated screens stretch floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall. They're so realistic, they even include a virtual railing to provide "a feeling of safety."

Bad Rooms on the New Royal Caribbean Ship Come with Virtual BalconiesS

"At the outset we had to answer questions around how people would react to an immersive display in a small place with no sunlight," Charlie Miller of the Control Group, the company that made the technology, recently told Wired. "We consulted two scientists from MIT and Harvard to advise us … so that we could design in mechanisms to avoid any unpleasant side effects."

Side effects, I imagine, would include crippling seasickness from the hyper real and entirely contrived image of the horizon. Then again, humans should probably get used to it. Like the immersive displays that showed familiar landscapes of Earth to a spaceship crew in the movie Sunshine, we might one day find that these kinds of screens are the windows of the future. So one day, you can see a sunset no matter where you stand. [Royal Caribbean via Wired]

Images via Royal Caribbean