World Wise

What was yes­ter­day’s past is shap­ing to­day’s fu­ture

Business Traveler (USA) - - LIFESTYLE - By Ross Atkinson

Look Both Ways – Yes­ter­day’s past is shap­ing to­day’s fu­ture

The year of­ten comes to a close with long lists of “best of’s. ”Of­ten th­ese in­dulge in the nos­tal­gic. How­ever, I’m a big fan of look­ing at the in­no­va­tions of “yes­ter­day’s past” that will im­pact “to­day’s fu­ture. ”In re­view­ing the idea with our Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor, Dan Booth, he im­me­di­ately drew the anal­ogy to Janus, the Ro­man god of beginnings and tran­si­tions – he’s the two-faced char­ac­ter that looks both for­ward and back at the same time. The topic stuck and we de­cided to spin a list of some in­dus­try ideas that have cropped up this year which ul­ti­mately could change the way we be­have, travel, and even live our lives.

NY to Lon­don in 30 Min­utes

Su­per­sonic be­comes hy­per­sonic. The air­craft con­cept, dubbed the Skreemr, is the brain­child of Charles Bom­bardier, an en­gi­neer and in­ven­tor who writes about his fu­tur­is­tic pro­to­type de­signs in the Cana­dian news­pa­per The Globe and Mail. Bom­bardier’s lat­est brain­child is a pas­sen­ger air­craft that can travel at 10 times the speed of sound, or just un­der a stun­ning 8,000 miles per hour.

The Skreemr comes just months af­ter Air­bus patented a jet that could fly from Lon­don to New York in 1 hour. Clearly, the last ever Con­corde pas­sen­ger flight in 2003 has not been for­got­ten by those with a need for speed in the fu­ture of pas­sen­ger travel.

The In­ter­net of Things

Ac­cord­ing to Com­mon Sense Me­dia, tweens and teens in the US spend on av­er­age six to nine hours on me­dia per day – that’s more screen time than they spend sleep­ing or in school.

By 2020, Gart­ner predicts there will be over 30 bil­lion de­vices con­nected to the In­ter­net. Will com­pa­nies be ready? What kind of so­ci­ety will we have tomorrow, shaped by to­day’s ex­ces­sive, screenad­dicted ado­les­cents?

Hail a … Jet

The shar­ing econ­omy seems to be touch­ing our lives every­where. New mar­kets are in­vented by in­di­vid­u­als de­liv­er­ing new ser­vices – think car shar­ing gi­ant Uber. Then car man­u­fac­tur­ers get in the game with the likes of BMW Drive, and yet oth­ers fol­low with peerto-peer car shar­ing like Re­layRides. The same pat­tern has been re­peated in food, bi­cy­cles, movies, even wed­ding dresses.

Why not jets? JetS­marter, Pri­vateFly, and Black­jet, to name a few, have been lev­er­ag­ing empty legs, seats, and even reg­u­lar routes be­tween spe­cific city pairs and open­ing it to the gen­eral pub­lic. We are talk­ing about an in­ven­tory of thou­sands of jets and empty seats avail­able through apps on our phones. This is not your tra­di­tional frac­tional share of jet us­age; this is a new way to be that high-flyer. Pri­vateFly, which launched in 2010, pro­vides ac­cess to more than 7,000 jets around the world and claims it can get pas­sen­gers from the ground to the air in 45 min­utes. Will the fu­ture fur­ther dis­rupt the pri­vate jet mar­ket?

Shar­ing Econ­omy Comes Full Cir­cle

I prom­ise this whole ar­ti­cle will not be about the shar­ing econ­omy, but I have to point out Ex­pe­dia, a dis­rupter of the past who has built a stable of pow­er­house brands, now buys home shar­ing gi­ant Home­Away. When you have tra­di­tional busi­nesses like car man­u­fac­tur­ers and rental com­pa­nies get­ting in the game, might this in­di­cate a cy­cle where th­ese new busi­ness mod­els will come back full cir­cle?

China Un­veils New Com­mer­cial Air­plane

In ad­di­tion to pay­ing at­ten­tion to the air­line I’m book­ing, the air­plane geek in me fre­quently checks the type of air­plane I’m on. There are many rea­sons why, and I will sum it all up with the sim­ple fas­ci­na­tion of flight.

For years, the names Air­bus, Boe­ing, Bom­bardier, Gulfstream and a few oth­ers have been rec­og­nized as the pri­mary man­u­fac­tur­ers of pas­sen­ger air­craft. The youngest of th­ese four com­pa­nies is 46 years old while the old­est turns 100 this up­com­ing year. Now there’s an in­or­di­nate amount of engi­neer­ing that goes into build­ing an air­craft be­fore the time comes to man­u­fac­ture a sin­gle plane.

This year, we saw the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion of China (COMAC) roll out its first air­craft, the C919, which the com­pany hopes will one day com­pete with those tenured brands in the in­dus­try. One is a start; only time will tell how suc­cess­ful it will be in com­mer­cial avi­a­tion.

So Many More

Here are a few more to con­sider: Air­lines sell­ing di­rectly on Google and every­where else they can dis­trib­ute their con­tent; long­est hauls to­day and even longer tomorrow with the new ex­tended range air­craft; vir­tual cur­ren­cies be­ing ac­cepted by ho­tels, on­line book­ing web­sites, and some air­lines as well as new pay­ment ve­hi­cles such as Ap­ply Pay, An­droid Pay or Google Wal­let; open­ing of bor­ders with ex­tended visa ac­cess, global en­try re­quire­ments eased, and ad­di­tional pre-clear­ance lo­ca­tions around the globe; BYOD (Bring Your Own De­vice) is evolv­ing into “BYOEvery­thing.”

Janus, the two-faced god had to have been very busy this year look­ing both at the past and fu­ture.

The list of tomorrow’s pos­si­bil­i­ties is end­less.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.