Gerd Leonhard on the Future of Flying and Virtual Transportation
Editor’s Note: We are publishing a five-part weekly series on the Future of Air Travel. For this exclusive series, SimpliFlying consultants have been interacting with leading thinkers and futurists and tapping their valuable insights. This is the fourth interview of our series. (Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.)
Gerd Leonhard is a well-known futurist, keynote speaker and the CEO of The Futures Agency. He works on future scenarios for companies that are looking to reinvent what they do and how they do it.
Gerd began by telling us that airlines have to prepare themselves for the era of virtual transportation post-2023, as virtual flying will become very popular and it won’t involve airplanes. Virtual transportation involves being at a destination virtually, with the help of holograms and telepresence. It is more about moving your image, not body and yet the experience and the presence will almost be life-like. Same day travel for business meetings will become redundant due to that technology.
The scope of virtual transportation can expand as far as shaking hands, touch-feel-hear-smell and even passing documents. The possibilities are literally endless.
Gerd mentioned automation as one of the key technologies for the future of aviation, especially with focus on efficiencies required across the board in not just fuel consumption, but also for sales, marketing and other key management areas of an airline.
Big Data will be essential for airlines to analyse trends and to act on them. For example: acting on probable trends shaping passenger preferences and being ready when the market demand for the same peaks. Similarly, Big Data can be very useful for prediction analysis and anticipatory services. For example: using data to find out future travel patterns of passengers or services he/she may require before, on and after the flight.
AI will have a massive role to play in the IFE of the future. We are already seeing Qantas employing VR headsets in flight and in lounges for entertainment purposes. The IFE of the future will witness involved interfaces, with 3D, Virtual and Augmented reality capabilities, without any extra overhead or over-eye devices.
Watch the entire interview below:
- How can airlines re-invent what they do beyond 2015? [0:28]
- Evolving business travel of the future [1:56]
- Technologies impacting aviation and air travel [2:12]
- The future of IFE [3:41]
How do you think In-Flight Entertainment and other air travel technologies will evolve in the future? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @simpliflying.