Considering the engineering and financial challenges of building a working Hyperloop, it’s not a given that the technology envisioned by Elon Musk will ever come to fruition. However, it is certain (in my opinion, anyway) that any working Hyperloop pods are likely to be claustrophobic as hell. Now, I know some companies involved have tried to waylay these fears with talks of augmented reality windows and calming lighting, but I honestly don’t think these will make a difference. You’ll still know you’re getting into a tiny pod that’s completely sealed off from the world — and this virtual reality Hyperloop app shows it.
THE MOST BORING VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER TRIED
The app has been built by Dutch ad agency INDG to support the work of the Delft University of Technology, which entered its pod into SpaceX’s Hyperloop design competition earlier this year. (They came second.) The app includes a nice exploded-view diagram that explains the basic Hyperloop mechanics, but there’s also a simulated trip from Amsterdam to Paris. (You can try it for yourself by downloading the app from iTunes here or the Play Store here.)
It’s perhaps the most boring virtual reality experience I’ve ever tried: you simply sit there and watch the odometer tick away while unexplained lights streak past you. The tedium certainly didn’t help with my itching desire to get up and stretch my legs and although I’m not sure if the VR experience exactly replicates Delft’s Hyperloop design, I do hope they at least add an aisle to their pod so passengers can walk up and down a little. At least when it’s not a VR Hyperloop journey I’ll be able to read a book.
By James Vincent @jjvincent