Time travel

Is tomorrow’s technology a little step nearer?

‘O brave new world’, comments Miranda, daughter of Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, as she looks upon a shipwrecked crew, towards the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Transplanted to the physical world, and her awe and prospect of the new world and its possibilities is not so out of place.

As technology evolves and innovates at an ever-increasing rate, so too our optimism soars. Transportation isn’t always the sexy bedfellow of radical development (the basic principle of the bicycle or car has remained the same since its introduction), but that could start to change.

Once the property of dystopian films, technology such as Hyperloop could threaten the attraction and convenience of domestic flights.

Although the idea was abandoned by Telsa Motors CEO Elon Musk in 2013 others have taken up his mantle for envisioning a high-speed ground transport concept. This consists of passengers travelling in capsules through tubes at speeds of over 500mph, on a cushion of air, driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.

More likely to be seen on the drawing board of Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs (also known as the Wizard of Oz), thanks to being open-sourced, start-ups including Hyperloop Technology (pictured) and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, have begun building test tracks. They believe that the current flight journey from LA to San Francisco, a 350 mile journey, can be reduced from 2hrs to just 35 minutes – not even enough time to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. European routes have also been put forward. In January 2016, a Paris to Amsterdam notional route was proposed by Delft Hyperloop. A Warsaw University of Technology team is evaluating potential routes from Cracow to Gdansk across Poland proposed by Hyper Poland.

A few days ago, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Android, announced an early developers’ preview of the N release of Android. A feature of the release is a multi-window attribute, or in developers speak, android:resizableActivity. This creates a split-screen mode for tablets and phones – a feature already available on the Windows tablets offered on Alaska Airlines and the IFE screens on Emirates.

According to Burke, ‘minimum allowable dimensions can prevent users from making the activity window smaller than that size. Lifecycle changes for multi-window are similar to switching from landscape to portrait mode: your activity can handle the configuration change itself, or it can allow the system to stop the activity and recreate it with the new dimensions. In addition, activities can also go into picture-in-picture mode on devices like TVs, and is a great feature for apps that play video’. A great opportunity for airlines to potentially realise some ancillary revenues?

Device makers can expect to receive the release, which also promises improved battery life, in the summer. A brave new world indeed!

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