A GoPro Takes You Flying Through a Pneumatic Tube System

By Sarah Zhang on at

Once it's swallowed up by a series of pneumatic tubes, the canister embarks on a dark, shadowy journey unseen by the human eye. But now we have GoPros, and now we can see exactly what the inside of a pneumatic tube system looks like.

It's easy to think of pneumatic tubes as a fussy old, system for pushing pieces of paper around. Before telephones and the internet made communication instantaneous, Paris, for example, had an entire underground postal system that delivered mail via compressed air across the city. But pneumatic tubes are becoming ever more popular again, with complex systems being installed in hospitals, banks, and supermarkets. This particular video was shot inside a parliamentary building in Norway.

Unless you speak Norwegian, you might want to skip to takeoff at 1:10, which feels almost like a mini rocket launch. Then it's off we go. The GoPro-eye view is quite radically disorienting—since flying through tubes is not something we humans usually do—but you'll see points where the canister slows down and speeds up. Pneumatic tube systems can be pretty complex beasts, where multiple canisters are routed to any number of exit points by computer-controlled airflow. Not so old-fashioned after all. [via BoingBoing]