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Cruise Ship's 80-Inch 'Virtual Balconies' Livestream the High Seas

February 5, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Damon Lavrinc / Wired

Passengers stuck in the bowels of Royal Caribbean's latest behemoth can now pretend they're living the high life with a "virtual balcony" -- marketing-speak for an 80-inch HD display that pipes in real-time video to create a pseudo window, complete with a banister for "a feeling of safety."

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Eighty-one interior staterooms aboard the 15-deck Navigator of the Seas will get screens that stretch nearly floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, displaying a live feed of what people with real windows are seeing, along with sound picked up my exterior microphones. But it's more than just slapping big-screen TVs on each wall and calling it a day.

"The Virtual Balcony seems like a really simple concept," says Charlie Miller, an associate partner at Control Group, the company behind the tech. "Our biggest challenges were all around making the experience as human and authentic as possible."

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