Holographic airport assistants. Digital bag tags. Climate-controlled seats that mold to your body. All of these things are what the travel search site Skyscanner prophesies for airport experience 10 years from now, bringing us to the future of travel in its second installment from a three-part report called "The Future of Travel 2024."
Compiled by a team of 56 experts and futurologists from the travel and tech industries, research from the site explains how flyers will plan, book and experience travel in 10 years' time. For starters, they projected that the era of time-consuming online travel discovery, research and booking across multiple platforms and devices will be long gone.
Instead, Filip Filipov, Skyscanner's Head of Business to Business, forecasts that there will be mass-market conversion to location-aware Big Data applications (brilliant data sets that generate more imaginative methods of travel).
At the airport terminal, you might be greeted by holographic airport staff that notify you when your flight is ready and guide you to your boarding gate.
Airline seats of the future are forecasted to come in ultimate comfort, featuring memory foam styled to fit your body's contours. They will also have individual climate control, holographic communications, and an entertainment hub to hold 3-D conversations with family and friends and play the films of your choice, according to Skyscanner.
All of the technological advances are part of what's being called the "Internet of Things." While it's easy to raise an eyebrow at the glamorous projections of the future, Skyscanner said that most of this cutting-edge technology is either real, being tested or undergoing prototype development.
Long security lines will be a thing of the past, morphing airports into relaxing cyber hubs. Facial recognition technology could help eliminate queues at security and check-in in 2024. Meanwhile, biometric check-in software will wash away the need for boarding passes, and X-ray machines will be nowhere to found in the airport, thanks to sensors capable of scanning big groups from a large distance.
Sick of lost luggage? Digital bag tags, pre-set with flight details and destination information, will allow travelers to track their bags at all times. For now, though, you might want to consider purchasing travel insurance with a baggage benefit.
There's no doubt that air travel is changing. But only time can tell which technologies survive to revolutionize our journeys. Looking past the specific devices on Skyscanner's report, we can bring with us this overarching message: Your airport and airline travel experience 10 years from now is expected to be more relaxing and convenient than it is today.
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