Virgin Airlines made headlines in February when they were the first flight carrier to serve passengers wearing Google Glass. In June, Copenhagen Airport followed their example and did a test trial, equipping its staff with the same device. They became the first airport in the world to do so and received positive response from passengers and the service team.
From boats to planes to GPS and the internet – technology has been changing travel at lightning speeds. Here are some of the technologies that are going to change the way we move around the world and document our experiences:
No more keys
Do you remember the good old days when your hotel room only had a set of metal keys? It seems like ancient history since hotels introduced electronic key cards; really, it was around 1998 when they started to adopt the convenient wallet-sized cards.
What’s new in key cards? They’re not keys at all. Two hotels in Ibiza, likely prompted by party-going guests who don’t carry wallets or valuables, have introduced wearable keys in the form of bracelets. They don’t just unlock room doors either. The bracelets can be used to share photos on social media and make purchases that can be billed to their rooms.
Faster security checks
Spanish airline Vueling has already been working with Sony to create boarding passes that are specifically designed for their new Smartwatch. The passes can be scanned throughout the airport directly from the watch – the first time this has been done on a wearable device.
In EU passports, we already record biometric data through scanners that allow travellers to enter EU countries without going to border control. These can even be taken to the next level by incorporating electrophoretic equipment into passports. Industry leader Plastic Logic, experts in flexible and unbreakable plastic displays, could add heat sensors to the plastic display that could read our unique heat signatures. This electrophoretic technology reads heat signatures more accurately than fingerprints and would be another way to make border crossing safer.
‘Losing Yourself’ will be a thing of the past
Some travellers enjoy getting lost in a city – it helps them discover things they may not have if they had stayed on the beaten path. However, in those instances where you’re so lost you can’t find a way out, Google Glass maybe the technology to show you way.
All the wearer has to do is say “Glass, show me to my hotel…” for example, the directions will be displayed live. You won’t be lost anymore, but locals may think you have lost your marbles…
Never miss a moment
‘Life logging cameras’ are becoming all the rage in a time where people are documenting every minute detail of their lives. Instead of having to pull out your phone or camera anytime there is something you want to remember, technology like Memoto is constantly snapping photos. That way you can stay in the moment instead of being distracted if you don’t have your technology handy.
Memoto is a device that you wear on your clothes and records life as you’re living it. It provides a continuing narrative of your life that you can relive in order. As technology gets more intelligent, devices may even just record entire days and pull out the best images based on your previous preferences. Technology won’t just be passive, it will be suggestive as well.
Imagine you were considering a holiday, but you weren’t sure what you wanted to do. You go to a travel agent and they give you an Oculus Rift helmet and experience the destination through virtual reality. It puts a whole new meaning to travel planning.
Alternatively, if this type of technology was combined with something like Google Glass, you wouldn’t be showing your friends holiday photos anymore. You could record your experience in 4D and provide your friends and family with an immersive experience back at home.
About the author
Alyssa James is a freelance writer with over four years of research and writing experience. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Travel + Escape, Matador Network, peer-reviewed journals and local newspapers. For more information, check out her website Alyssa Writes.