Robots that escort you to your gate, modular sleep pods and the world’s first electric plane. Buckle up as we take you through three cutting-edge air travel innovations.
1) Condition terminal – LG Airport Guide Robot
Ever been lost in an airport? So have we. South Korean tech company LG thinks it has the answer in the shape of the cute-looking talking robot. A hit at the CES 2017 show, the Dalek-like LG Airport Guide Robot or Airbot escorts passengers around unfamiliar airports.
In addition, it provides boarding information, not to mention updates on delayed flights and the weather at your destination.
The Airport Robot Guide will be installed at South Korea’s Incheon airport later this year. However, no word yet from LG about availability or how much it will cost.
2) Electric dreams – the Zunum Hybrid Jet
A commercial airliner that runs on electricity? That’s the dream of Ashish Kumar, CEO of US start-up Zunum Aero.
The battery-powered plane will feature a turbine that runs on jet fuel, which takes over when the battery runs low. Consequently, the hybrid model could reduce noise by 75% and airline fuel costs by up to 80%.
Kumar believes the first planes will have a battery range of 175 miles, extended to 700 miles by a generator. The project isn’t just pie in the sky. On the contrary, it’s funded by Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures.
3) Nap to the future – Snoozecube
Passengers visiting Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport can grab 40 winks in-between long-haul flights in a Snoozecube.
The sound-proof cube contains a bed, a touch-screen TV offering music and movies, and somewhere to store carry-on luggage. Bedding and air conditioning are also provided as well as internet outlets and, usefully, an alarm. There’s even art on the walls.
Snoozecube is the brainchild of Larry Swann, who was inspired to set up the company by a movie.
Catch up with air travel news, views and technology innovations in the latest edition of Future Airport.
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