From 3D-printed hotel breakfast buffets to time-travel holiday experiences… and even heartbeat passports. These are just three of the technological advances predicted in “EasyJet 2070: The Future Travel Report”.
Biomimetic sensory plane seats, optoelectronic inflight entertainment beamed directly to passenger’s eyes and digital personal holiday concierges are also among the technological advances highlighted in the report, by leading futurists and experts from the worlds of aerospace, innovation and engineering.
In a foreword to what the airline describes as “a mind-blowing version of how we will travel in 50 years’ time”, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren says, “I have spent all my working life in the travel business, from my beginnings as a tour guide in the mid-1980s to CEO of one of the largest and most innovative airlines in the world.
“From an insider’s position, I have witnessed how much holidays and travel have changed – particularly when our own airline EasyJet famously challenged the status quo for air travel nearly 30 years ago, ending an era of holidaying abroad being a preserve of the rich, and making flying affordable and accessible to all.
“Innovation is in our DNA and we’re always challenging ourselves to think big and look at how we can make travel even easier for people all across Europe, both today and for generations to come. So, we’ve commissioned a panel of experts – academics, futurologists and business advisors – to develop ideas and make predictions about how travel might look in fifty years’ time, from choosing and booking your holiday to how the airport and flight experience may be transformed, and also looking at the accommodation people might stay in and the activities they could enjoy from travel in the 2070s.”
According to Lundgren, rapid advancement of new technology will be the driver for the next generation of travel throughout the next half century. “In our early years, EasyJet pioneered the use of direct booking via the internet for our customers, launching our first website in 1998, and today we’re working with industry leaders on hydrogen technology for zero-carbon emission aircraft that will transform the way we fly in the coming years.”
Four of the expert predictions have been brought to life in detailed renders showcasing how travel could look in 2070. The visuals depict travellers using their unique heartbeats to get through security at the airport, as well as aircraft fitted with adaptable, biomimetic seats, with entertainment beamed directly into their eyes. Other images show holidaymakers viewing a true-to-life Colossus of Rhodes wearing haptic suits, and selecting 3D-printed food personalised to their tastes.
These are the main airport journey and air travel experiences expected to be revolutionised by technological advances, according to the report:
Heartbeat and biometric passports will replace the traditional passport. Passengers’ heartbeat signatures and biometric details will be logged on a global system in the same way finger-print scanning technology works today.
Ergonomic and biomimetic sensory plane seats will become the norm, with smart materials adapting to passengers’ body shape, height, weight and temperature.
Inflight entertainment will be beamed directly in front of passenger’s eyes, via optoelectronic devices, replacing the need for onboard screens or downloading movies before flying.
e-VTOL air taxis will replace the airport car park shuttle, with 85 per cent of passengers arriving by e-VTOLs from their homes to the terminal.
As for advances in the accommodation experience abroad:
3D-printed hotel buffet food will allow holidaymakers to produce whatever they want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while reducing food waste.
Subterranean hotels built into the fabric of the earth will be super energy-efficient and “at one with the environment”.
All hotel rooms will be smart, with beds already pre-made to exactly desired firmness, ambient temperatures and favourite music playing based on preferences selected in advance of the holiday booking.
A holographic personal holiday concierge will accompany holidaymakers to provide up to date destination information and assistance throughout their stay.
3D-printed, recyclable holiday clothes on arrival at the hotel will remove the need for suitcases and fast holiday fashion, as travellers can print the clothes required in their hotel rooms, tailored to their fit and style, and recycle the materials for the next guest to enjoy.
Human-powered hotels will harvest energy from guests’ footsteps to generate power.
And finally, innovations in experiences and activities on offer to travellers at their destination:
“Time-travelling” — tomorrow’s travellers will be able to holiday in the past by wearing haptic suits at historical sites that enable them to immerse themselves in live historical surroundings, marvelling at wonders of the ancient world such the Colossus of Rhodes during a stroll in Rhodes Town, or cheering among the crowds of the original Olympic Games in Ancient Greece.
Try before you buy – bionic and meta holiday previews ahead of going on holiday that will allow travellers to experience locations before booking their trip.
Underwater “sea-faris” – aquatic adventures onboard submarines for tourists deep beneath the sea, discovering life in underwater marine parks.
Cable skiing, flyboarding and e-foiling – available for rent on the beachfront.
Local language in-ear devices – to take on holiday for access to real-time translations.
Science TV presenter Dallas Campbell, who fronted a video discussing the report’s conclusions, said, “Some of the predictions are absolutely astonishing. A personal favourite is the idea of being able to travel back in time through haptic suits. I’d love to be able to experience the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the very first Olympic Games. With everything from the airport, aircraft and destinations set to evolve, travellers are in for some amazing developments as the travel industry continues to evolve and thrive.”
The report was co-authored by leading academics and futurists including Professor Birgitte Andersen of Birkbeck, University of London and CEO of Big Innovation Centre; Dr Melissa Sterry, design scientist and complex systems theorist; futurists Shivvy Jervis and Dr Patrick Dixon; director of transport systems at Cranfield University, Professor Graham Braithwaite; and Nikhil Sachdeva, principal for aerospace and defence and sustainable aviation at consultancy Roland Berger.
“This next 50 years will bring the largest technological advances we have ever seen in travel and tourism,” said Birgitte Andersen. “Aspects of how we holiday will be transformed beyond recognition. In the future holidaymakers will be queuing at the hotel buffet to have their breakfast omelettes and fry-ups 3D-printed by machines, our heartbeat will become our passport, and in-ear devices will translate the local language in real time and enable us to speak the local lingo. Looking forward, by the year 2070 the destinations we fly to, the type of accommodation we stay in, and the experiences we have will have changed immeasurably.”
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