Reprinted with permission from www.travelsbitch.com
According to CNN, a travel-booking site called Skyscanner recently commissioned a report called The Future of Travel, which forecasts the way that technology will most likely affect how we travel and/or how we experience our trips and vacations. I'm not a technophobe, by any stretch of the imagination, but although some of the report's findings are intriguing, other results leave me cold and in fear for the future of travel.
First, the good stuff: wearable technology will probably play a large part in how we arrange our travel in the near future. Smartwatches will contain apps that will allow us to access tour guides, to make travel arrangements and to get the most current information on the locations we are visiting; in some cases, they will guide us through cities on tours that they improvise on the spot based on the cities' attractions and our own personal interests. While this may detract from the fun of planning our own itineraries, it could provide for a deeper enjoyment of our chosen destinations, especially if there are time constraints; and it's entirely possible that we can program our own plans into a program so that the technology blends together a tour that both satisfies and surprises.
Who knows, maybe the prospect of influencing entire industries in this way may push Apple to finally design and release the iWatch that has been rumored in the works for so long.
And now for the downside – actually, downright depressing side – of this future technology: virtual-reality travel. With the advent of virtual headsets and holograms, the report envisions a time when we can simply sit back in our armchairs and take a virtual trip to any city or country. Without leaving our homes, we can “walk” through London or Rome and “visit” the iconic sights of faraway lands. While this may appeal to some people, especially those who are time- or financially restrained, and may be a blessing to those who are physically confined and unable to enjoy these experiences any other way, to those of us who love to move about on this incredible planet the idea is anathema. How do you interact with the people? How do you experience the food and drink of the region you're “visiting”?
No, I'll take my travel the old-fashioned way: real – with the help of some of that more nifty wearable technology! I may be a dinosaur, but I'm still evolving.