Have you ever thought that the future might include transporter travel by data beam, like in Star Trek? While technology hasn’t evolved to this extent, with instantaneous travel from one spot to another, there are some plans for the near future that will change how we move around the world.
While a lot of the innovation is exciting, some tech causes us worry – for instance, facial recognition is being used. However, others, such as the introduction of mixed reality are an exciting way to see places from your living room.
The Internet of Things was already becoming a dominant force in our lives before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now we are reliant on digitalization for most areas of our lives, this has been enhanced. Not only has there been an expansion of IoT but also the long awaited surge of virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
Introduction of television helped to reduce our distance between places around the world and so VR, AR and XR will likely do the same. While we cannot physically travel on airplanes, trains and in cars, we can travel in our minds. Unlike television and film, which is passive receipt of data, this use of tech will allow us to interact with each other and the world once we don the headset. It is an immersive and sensual experience, and while it can never replace our yearning to visit places, it can act as a suitable release for the yearnings while locked down.
One of the major issues of travel is the bureaucracy before you fly. The check-in desk, the security check and the checks on boarding – not to mention the matter of dealing with baggage – all slows down the process. In the new world of travel and tourism there will be much more integrated self-service technologies that will make travel faster and easier.
It is not just at the airport, as hotels too can have check-in kiosks. It is possible that room service orders will be taken via computer screen, as will your desire for housekeeping services. You will no longer need to find the concierge, as there will be screens in your room to book those taxis, trips and find the services you need in an instance. Imagine an artificial intelligence bot at the desk of a hotel, ready to anticipate and learn your needs.
Traveling will soon be part of the experience of seeing the world. The bit in between home and your destination shouldn’t and won’t be an annoying lapse of time you have to bear. However, the future could provide us with personalized and sustainable travel, as we enter an age of responsible tourism, avoiding those package holiday experiences in favor of more adventure. How do we do this? – well, virtually, of course. Health and wellness virtual travel has become one of the most popular.
Becoming digital nomads
Technology has permitted working from home. In some ways, this has impacted travel because there is no longer any need to travel to conferences or meetings. Everything can be done via a video conference software wherever there is broadband. However, this may also allow us the freedom to merge travel and work in the future. As there is no need to be fixed to one location to hold down a job, you can travel where you like.
Town and city centers around the world now have workspaces for hire. You can pop in for a couple of hours to take an online meeting and then be down at the beach for a post lunch sunbathe. Places such as Monaco and Dubai have tuned into the world of the digital nomad and have advertised programs of mobile digital work areas. Some tech companies are choosing to travel to these centers to develop a beta product for quick launch before moving back to a home base from this point forward.
It could now be that you experience both travel and work, rather than having to choose one over the other. For instance, if you have ever thought about taking the American Road Trip, then there is no need now to pause work to enjoy this experience of life. You can make a town a temporary home, as you seek to complete a project and then move on in your time off.
Technology is providing us with convenience. We can go where we like when we like – without too much fuss and bother. While we might no longer have to travel for work, we can start to travel and work. There is no need to be based in one place anymore, as wherever there is broadband there is opportunity to complete a business project.
While virtual travel and tourist experiences might be a wonderful diversion during the pandemic, no one expects this to completely replace a desire for physical travel. However, what it does do is offer a chance to try before you buy and to experience the places we want to see from our home before we leave.
In short, travel is about to get a whole lot easier – and we might not have to leave our living rooms.