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Tube passengers get tunnel vision

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LONDON'S TUBE passengers may soon be some of the first in the world to experience high-tech 'through-the-window' movies during their underground trips.

The silent films, designed as a new way of advertising, would be created by a series of backlit panels fixed to tunnel walls. Each panel flashes in sequence as a train passes, creating the illusion of a film in each carriage window.

'As the train moves into a tunnel, it triggers a magic eye that sends electronic messages to the panels,' explained Charles Holden of MotionPoster, the company behind the system.

'The eye also sends information to the panels about the train's acceleration and deceleration, and they adjust their flashing sequence accordingly,' he added. 'We recently developed a motion picture advertising Wimbledon (tennis tournament), starring Tim Henman.'

MotionPoster hopes to install its first systems in London although it has also approached the operators of the Hong Kong Mass Transit and the Montreal Metro. If London agrees a deal, MotionPoster would pay for the entire installation cost, retain ownership of the units, butearn income from advertising revenue.

A spokesman for London Underground said: 'We are always happy to look at new technologies for our underground network - however the underground environment is hostile and space in our tunnels is often limited.'

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