Tom Bastek | April 30, 2015 12:00 PM ET
The Future is (Almost) Here
For as fast as the communication technology industry is moving, integrating that technology between devices and systems is becoming more cumbersome. This can sometimes be attributed to proprietary rights and interests, the fact that translation software is too expensive to write, or even privacy concerns on the consumer side.
At the end of the day, in order for us to truly advance as a species, technology just needs to work together. It is slow going at best with small advancements like the SPG Keyless app that Starwood has implemented with other chains sure to follow suit. But what would our travel experiences be like if all of the technology that we had at our fingertips would work seamlessly together?
Here is what the future may (or may not) hold.
You and your wife decide that you are going to go to Italy for your 10 year wedding anniversary. You go to Google and start your research. As you get up and put your search on hold, Google realizes what you are looking for and offers to help while you are away. You ask for suggestions, and then set it up so those links are emailed to your travel agent and your wife, so that everyone is on the same page.
Your travel agent emails over to you two days later an itinerary featuring virtual walkthroughs, flight options and hotel considerations. Your phone offers up tourism, language and map apps to download for your upcoming trip. Your weather app tells you what kind of clothing to pack, your diet app figures out how much weight you need to lose before your trip and your fitness app not only tells you where you can continue your workout routine overseas, but also what your plan is to burn off those great Italian meals when you get back.
The Day Before
You are getting ready for your trip, and your pharmacy has texted you that your extra prescription refills are ready for you to pick up before you leave. You are prompted by your airline to check in while your weather app warns of now apparent rain which automatically updates your checklist app to add raingear.
The hotel sends over suggestions for activities and restaurants in the area and recommends that if you would like to eat at the four-star restaurant that you researched, today would be the day to make the reservation. Your media app suggests downloads for trip and then adds headphones to your checklist.
The Day of Departure
Your alarm goes off 20 minutes early because your phone found a delay in traffic to the airport. Due to this rearrangement of schedule, the coffee maker's automatic timer was bumped up, the dog boarder was texted that you would be arriving earlier, and you are given all locations near your departure gate for breakfast with approximate wait times in case you want to grab a bite there.
Security takes longer than expected so the phone prompts you to order food ahead to take with you on the plane. The girl from the restaurant has been texted your picture and gate information and meets you with your breakfast right as you are boarding.
Upon takeoff, your phone syncs with the screen in your seat and allows you to watch your movie there. Your flight attendant, who has a record of what you ordered the last time you flew with them, asks if you would like the same.
As you land, your phone has arranged transportation and the description of the car and driver has been sent to you. Your hotel sends over your room number and their app works as a door key allowing you to bypass the reception altogether. The down pillows have been changed out and extra washcloths were left as you requested and a light bite is dropped off to the room before you head to bed that night.
Based on your GPS and preferences, the travel app that you have downloaded offers up suggestions and audio descriptions of the places you are visiting. Your language app translates for you and helps get your wife to a bathroom quickly and your currency app figures out your tips and conversion rates on the fly.
Addresses of where you want to go are automatically sent to the cab driver who picked you up, tickets are prompted for purchase in advance so lines can be avoided, and reminders are sent for you to pick up gifts for your nieces as you walk by the gift store.
While filling out your customs forms, your phone tallies lists what you have bought for easy transfer to paper. You are prompted to refill your transit card before you get to the station in order to save time. You stop by on the way home from the train to pick up the dog and the groceries which you ordered and paid for before you arrived.
Ten minutes later the doorbell rings; it is a flower delivery from your travel agent welcoming you home and hoping that you had a great trip.
Isn’t technology grand?
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