Though it sounds like science fiction, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is very much a reality, and 360 video is here to help prove it to you.
Musk’s pioneering company, SpaceX, this month posted a panoramic video of a working prototype of this transport system in progress. You can watch it either below on YouTube or in 3D through the Jaunt app on most VR headsets.
For those that don’t know, Hyperloop is a potentially revolutionary form of transport in the works. It propels passengers, sitting comfortably inside specialized pods, down a tube at a speed of 1,200 km or 745 miles per hour, drastically reducing travel times between destinations. At present the concept only exists as a testing rig, though the hope is to make it a viable means of public transportation that’s in use within the next few years.
This video is taken from its prototype rig, and showcases one of the student-made pods currently in testing as part of a competition. You certainly get a good sense of the immense speed that it can pick up, though there obviously isn’t much to look at when you’re travelling over 700mph down a long and featureless tube.
While we are getting an early look at the Hyperloop using VR, Epic Games President Tim Sweeney thinks that the tech might ultimately make this exciting new mode of transport irrelevant. Speaking at a conference last year, Sweeney said: “We’re not going to need the Hyperloop that Elon Musk is working on because [VR] tech will let us be in the same room with others.” He thinks digital humans will replace our need to travel great distances.
Whether Sweeney is right or not will be one of the most interesting questions for the tech world in the next few years; getting VR headsets into everyone’s homes seems like a herculean task, but not anywhere near as challenging as installing this future tech into countries across the world.