In the future, passengers will whizz through passport control in a heartbeat. That’s because according to leading futurists and scientists, ‘biometric heartbeat passports’ will replace traditional passports, with travellers’ unique cardiac signatures being read as a form of ID. It’s just one of the many astonishing revelations in the easyJet 2070 Future Travel Report, which presents a vision of how we will travel and enjoy our holidays in 50 years’ time, with printed hotel buffets and ‘smart’ plane seats that adapt to the shape of the passenger also on the horizon.
The report’s authors include Professor Birgitte Andersen of Birkbeck, University of London and CEO of Big Innovation Centre; Dr Melissa Sterry, design scientist and complex systems theorist and renowned futurists Shivvy Jervis and Dr Patrick Dixon, as well as 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.
They detail in the report how the airport journey and air travel experience will be ‘revolutionised by technological advances’, explaining that the biometric heartbeat passport system would see passengers’ heartbeat signatures and biometric details 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, it’s revealed, with smart materials not only adapting to passengers’ body shapes, but also their height, weight and temperature, to provide ‘the ultimate tailored comfort flying experience’.
Inflight entertainment, meanwhile, ‘will be beamed directly in front of passengers’ eyes, via optoelectronic devices, replacing the need for on-board screens or downloading movies before you fly’. And e-VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) air taxis will ‘do away with the airport car park shuttle’ – plus, the journey to the airport will be quicker and more convenient than ever before, with 85 percent of passengers transported from their homes to the terminal by e-VTOLs, declare the report authors.
The accommodation experience abroad is also set to be revolutionised and not just thanks to 3D printed hotel buffet food ‘allowing holidaymakers to 3D print whatever they want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner’. The authors predict that there will be subterranean hotels built into the fabric of the earth ‘that are super energy efficient and at one with the environment’. All hotel rooms will be ‘smart rooms’ in 2070, with guests able to pre-select bed firmness, ambient temperatures and have their favourite music playing when they open the door. And suitcases won’t really be needed – because holidaymakers will be able to 3D print recyclable clothes upon arrival, ‘tailored to their perfect fit and style’. Hotels’ eco-credentials will be further enhanced by their power source – guests’ footsteps. Activities while on holiday in 2070 will include ‘time-travelling’ – wearing haptic suits at historical sites to be immersed in glorious ancient world wonders – and underwater ‘sea-faris’ in mini-submarines. And in-ear devices will translate the local language in real time. For the report, Britons were asked to choose which of the experts’ predictions they would most like to see become a reality, with nine in 10 of British adults saying they were excited or intrigued by what technological advances would change travelling in 50 years’ time. Three quarters of Brits say that these technological leaps would make them more likely to go on holiday in the future. The survey of 2,000 British adults revealed that biometric heartbeat passports and time-travelling holiday experiences are the advancements in travel that the nation would most like to happen by 2070.
Speaking about the report, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: ‘Innovation is in our DNA and we’re always challenging ourselves to think big and look at how we can make travel even easier… both today and for generations to come. From biometric heartbeat passports to time-travelling holiday experiences, travel in 2070 is likely to be very different and exciting indeed.’