It’s hard to be definitive about how technology will influence the future of travel, but we can be certain that it will play a big role. We’ve already seen massive innovations in the form of GPS systems, mobile apps, and wearables.
We might not ever experience time travel or make space travel a consumer practice, but we can take a virtual vacation or stop motion sickness with a watch. Here are some of the most prominent ways that technology will alter the future of travel for the better.
1. Self-Driving Vehicles
Google, Tesla, and many other major car companies are getting closer to putting self-driving vehicles on the market for consumers. Google believes it will happen by 2020. When it does, it will have a profound impact on our travel choices.
This would mean you can enjoy a safari tour in Dubai Emirate without a driver at the helm or travel around the city without trying to find parking. You can forget the stress of renting a car and let this safer, smarter car handle the navigations for you.
2. Virtual Reality
VR has already been a part of travel preparations and marketing, and it will likely grow in prevalence in the future. Some companies allow you to visit a destination in virtual reality to help you decide if you want to visit in real life. It’s like Google Earth on steroids.
Marriott, for example, has used this concept in their marketing campaign. They allow people to visit far-off destinations in virtual reality and make it easy to book a Marriott hotel after the experience.
This technology will become a bigger part of travel companies’ marketing campaigns all over the world.
3. Shorter Airport Lines
Many airports are working hard to develop a self-service airport system that would mean shorter lines and less fuss at the terminal. In 2016, 90 percent of airlines provided online purchase and 70 percent had online check in. Most airlines also offer self-service kiosks for check-in at the airport, and many organizations allow individuals to check their bags without assistance.
TSA has also been working on streamlining their wait times. For the price of a background check, you can run a pre-check online that will allow you to skip the line, keep your shoes on, and spend less time waiting for your flight.
4. Smarter Cars
The computer systems in today’s modern cars make road tripping an enjoyable experience. Most contemporary vehicles allow you to sync your phone for hands free calling and a full entertainment system.
There are also tools that can monitor your physical state. For example, if you’re acting sleepy or drunk, the car can alert you and even trigger help like lane change assistance and wrong-way driving warnings.
5. Wearables You’ll Actually Use
Fitbit, Garmin, and other smartwatch wearables are fading from popularity as more comprehensive and useful gadgets emerge. For example, the Apple Watch will handle all the fitness tracking metrics as well as provide voice-activated call and text, and your selection of apps that can help magnify your travels. You’ll know how far you walked on your vacation and have GPS and other mobile guidance within reach.
Another exciting wearable in the realm of travel is ili Wrist Translator, which can help you talk to those speaking a different language. You talk to the band, and it will translate what you want to say, and vice versa.
There’s also Relief Band, which can alleviate motion sickness without the use of drugs, which is particularly useful for long car rides or cruise ships. These wearables help to solve the most difficult aspects of travel.
6. Cloud Passports
Though it may take a few years of convincing for the U.S. to jump on board, there are now biometric, digital passports. Australia, for example, provides easy travel with digital passports that store personal information.
The Australian government says they plan to take it one step further and develop virtual passports that are stored on the cloud. They will store biometric data, a digital photo, and other identification that can be accessed through a cloud server. Right now, the concern is cyber security, but if they can work out the bugs, this tech has the potential to go global.
7. Drone and 360 Photography
Forget about the selfie stick and underwater GoPro photos. Now, we have drone and 360 photography that enhances your memories. Camera makers (including designers of smartphones) are currently developing multi-lens devices that will offer more footage of your favorite events, including aerial footage.
The biggest innovators for these devices are 360cam by Giroptic, Samsung, and DJI. The price for these devices are close to $500, but as the technology becomes more commonplace and competition emerges, it will drive the price down – everyone will want a piece of this immersive photo action for their travels.