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Travelling has had different purposes throughout the history: gathering food, exploring new lands, spreading the relligion. Today, when travel is a common part of everyday life, the business and leisure trips blend together, eco and wellness is on the rise, tourism gets enhanced via technology and innovation, and humanity awaits for space travel, reinventing the understanding of travelling once again.
When we become professionals in travelling, and more people can afford to fly, we need less assistance and faster service. Therefore, enhancing the customer experience and increasing the service speed, airports implement self-services and automatisation technics. For example, New Zealand launched the biometric-enabled self-service bag drop. Along with online check it, self-scanning of passports and boarding passes, passengers can register their baggage using the an embedded biometric camera. KLM went further and had launched a two-year pilot of single passenger facial recognition system to create a seamless flow. Passengers have no need of presenting their passports on every stage of their travel. Customers check-in using the self-service kiosk, which will take the picture of the passenger and send the information to the border control. The photo will be linked to passengers’ document and in further services the customer will be recognised by face. There is no need to present the passport on the bag drop, security control and boarding.
“We are making history in Aruba today, starting a new era in the aviation sector. Happy Flow is the first ever 100% self-service passenger flow based on the use of biometrics to provide a secure, quick and happy experience for the passengers. Furthermore, it provides the authorities with a powerful end-to-end management platform that allows for the monitoring of the whole passenger process with multiple security, efficiency and revenue benefits, respecting the privacy of data at all times,” said Senior VP Vision Box Miguel Leitmann.
This system illuminates human interaction and speeds-up the process of the documents inspection in times. Furthermore, the facial recognition and biometrical scanning can be the payment method, excluding the need for the chip implants. Nevertheless, the human interaction and service will be available. However, personal service will be a luxury you have to pay extra for.
On each step of the journey, airports and airplane companies will gather the data on each passenger. What person prefers to purchase during the flight, what snacks and entertainment would fit his or her needs. As people travel a lot and use different airlines, there will be a need for a third-party company gathering the data on travellers. This company will buy the data and sell it to the marketers. As everything connected with Big Data, there are flaws with privacy issues and benefits with of personalised services. However, the Big Data market and analysis will be a large business with plenty of opportunities.
Besides the traditional, space tourism is one of the science fiction that has not been replicated in the real life. The trips worldwide become more accessible, however at the same time the virtual reality develops itself rapidly. Why would one spend millions to see the space and risk the life, when he can get similar experience using the headset? No one implies that the experience is the same, but VR will gift the trip to Moon with minimal cost. For today, only 600 hundred people have traveled, and the Oculus Rift decided to expand the possibility of their users. Using the Kickstarter, Aaron Knoll has gathered the funding for allowing the space trips to be possible for everyone.
However, besides the space tourism, virtual reality trips might play a role in relaxation. Likewise the wellness tourism, one may relax having the experience of being on the Bali in a matter of a couple of minutes. Travelling has been used as a therapy, but in future to get a view from the top of Everest to let the thoughts go, will be available for everyone.
Tackling the climate change and attempting to tear apart the oil dependence, engineers come up with new solutions every day. The Solar Impulse projects prove that it is possible to have a sustainable way of air travel entirely powered by solar. Innovative trains can “levitate on magnets” at a speed of 600 km/h. The magnet fueled Japanese maglev train will operate between Tokio and Nagoya by 2027. It is expected to cover the distance of almost 300 km in about 40 minutes. These solutions sound tempting and achievable. But when it enters the world on a daily basis? Hopefully soon, as we are ready for it.