9 cool gadgets that will revolutionize the way you travel
In the next 10 years the technology that surrounds us will not only become part of our lives, but it will also impact our future travels.
As our report on the Future of Travel explains, in 10 years’ time we’re very likely to have a “Digital Travel Buddy,” a high-tech companion that goes everywhere with us and knows what we want and desire, thanks to Artificial Intelligence. These buddies could very well take the shape of a smart watch or a small piece of jewelry. And they’ll personalize our travel experiences.
The cool thing is we don’t have to wait a whole decade to see the future of travel. There are currently plenty of futuristic gadgets you can try out – and more that are being tested or designed right now. These are the 10 gadgets that will help make the Future of Travel an entirely new experience for all of us.
DESTI’s a conversational travel app from the SRI research institute. That name might sound familiar to some folks out there because they’re the team that developed Apple’s Siri system. This app will be able to track down relevant online travel reviews and comments based on past preferences and searches of its user. That basically means if you’re more apt to travel with your family, then you’ll get a selection of reviews on family-friendly hotels or activities for everyone to do at your selected destination.
2. GOOGLE GLASS
These camera-enabled smart glasses from Google are set to hit the mass market and will be shipping 6.6 million models a year by 2016. They’ve begun to show us how to see the world through another lens, and while there aren’t many apps to be used on them at the moment, there’s no denying the potential. Maybe 10 years down the line we’ll use them to enhance our travel experience in whole new way. Some even say that microscopic bendable circuits, like the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology developed, could be implanted into a contact lens by the end of this decade.
Samsung’s Interactive Artificial Intelligence (SAMI) will monitor the lifestyle and health needs of its user automatically by plugging into the aggregated knowledge of smartphones and wearable devices that will exist by 2020.
Fans of the “Halo” video games have been waiting for this one. Microsoft’s currently developing Cortana, a voice-activated personal assistant that might bring up memories of Master Chief’s partner in crime or Samantha from Spike Jonze’s film “Her.” The interface will be human-sounding as it scans our online searches, cross-reference our food, travel and hotel searches and then use some predictive algorithms to make suggestions that are tailored to our needs, likes and price range.
5. I-FREE’S ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
I-free is a Russian innovation brand that’s designed an artificial intelligence system that will process a listener’s question and give appropriate verbal answers in a split second, allowing their bio-robot Frank to hold a meaningful conversation with a person.
6. SMART WATCHES
The first generation of smart watches is already here for us to enjoy. The most popular versions being the Sony Smart watch, Samsun Galaxy Gear and the Pebble. All of them are wristwatches that boast smartphone functionality to check your email, send messages and more. Oh, and they can still tell the time.
Hewlett Packard is currently developing a next generation smart watch that will understand its user’s hand gestures and allow him to project and manipulate 3D holographic displays like Tom Cruise did in "Minority Report."
And be sure to stay tuned for the much rumored i-watch from Apple…
7. REALSENSE 3D CAMERA
The REALSENSE 3D camera by Intel is a perfect example of how technology can recognize and respond to human emotions, which is expected to be common in travel gadgets in a few years. This smart gadget identifies the mood of users through their facial expressions and body posture. It’s also able to understand and respond to spoken requests.
8. VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS
Headsets like the Oculus Rift VR from US start-up Oculus VR is the predecessor of Virtual Reality devices travelers will use at home to sample experiences from a wide range of vacation choices in stunning 3D. It combines smartphone tech and motion sensors to give users an experience that is quite similar to watching something on a never-ending IMAX screen.
A device designed by a team at the Vienna University of Technology has allowed users to walk through labyrinth that seems to go on forever, but they’re just walking around in circles in a small room. Researchers are aiming to have multiple users experience it at the same time without bumping into each other by adding motion and proximity-sensing technology to the device.
9. SENSORIAL TECHNOLOGY
Haptic technologies have given a sense of touch in some devices we use today. But they’re going to add another layer of realism to the Virtual Reality experience. Several brands are developing touchscreens that will let you feel virtual 3D objects or fabrics – Disney’s REVEL touchscreen and Lapan’s Tachi Lab’s TECHTILE toolkit are just two examples. Just imagine the ability to feel the sand between your toes with these devices.
These are just a few of the innovations we can already begin trying out that will evolve and make our travels in the future dramatically different. And many more will be coming along soon.