While most Aston Martin automobiles are designed to give you the sensation of flying while being safely grounded on four wheels against the asphalt, the Volante Vision concept may actually give you the power of flight. Debuted at the Farnborough Air Show this year, the Volante Vision is Aston Martin’s first foray into airplanes (coincidentally, Volante means Flying in quite a few European languages).
Designed to seat three people, the Volante Vision was made to provide fast, efficient and congestion-free luxurious travel in urban areas. With cities growing bigger and roads getting more congested, the British Automotive Maker believes in taking to the skies, after all, Aston Martin has always been about speed, luxury, and being a cut above.
The Volante Vision concept, a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), occupies the space of four cars and comes with three propellers, Aston Martin’s sleek-yet-curvilinear outer body, and a comfortable interior that takes aircraft seating and turns it up a notch. Built with a hybrid-electric powertrain and self-piloting capabilities, the Volante was designed in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and Rolls-Royce.
Well, that’s a pretty classy way to beat the traffic.
T-Mobile is expanding its One plan to give travelers unlimited data and texting across 210 countries. Those who are on the road can use as much 2G data as they like at no extra cost, and the plan offers flat-rate calling at 25 cents per minute (which...
You’re staring at the map on your phone, searching for the restaurant your friend’s waiting for you at. You see the blip on your phone, and you’re supposed to be right in front of it, but you can’t spot the restaurant as you look around for a signboard with a familiar name on it. The Global Positioning System is incredibly useful, but has some inherent flaws… one of them being that the GPS works on a bird’s eye view, and we don’t… causing a gap in the user experience, as we try to create a bridge between what the map shows us and what we see. The GPS also relies heavily on WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell-phone networks for pin-point accuracy, which means it doesn’t work underground or in areas with no cellular network, where it just might be needed the most.
The interface of the LynQ, designed specifically for tracking and locating, surpasses the hurdles that traditional GPS tracking can’t. A tracking device that pairs with other LynQ devices, the hand-held tracker works anywhere and everywhere, regardless of the availability of cellular service, and more importantly, relooks the interface, making it incredibly intuitive and potentially groundbreaking.
The LynQ’s UI may just be the simplest and most effective one yet. Rather than displaying you and your target as two blips on a bird’s eye view of a map, the LynQ just shows you two variables. Direction, and distance. A circular screen displays the name of the person you’re trying to locate, while a dot on the periphery points at the direction in which they are. The circle expands into an arc as you go closer, visually making the LynQ easy to understand and use, regardless of how tech savvy you are, and even eliminating the risk of a miscommunication. The lack of arrows, logos, messages/notifications allows just about anyone to use the LynQ, while the only pieces of text on the screen are A. the name of the person you’re tracking, and B. the distance in feet/inches.
Using the LynQ involves simply pairing two or more LynQ devices together (with an upper limit of 12 devices). No phones, no maps, no connectivity problems, and more importantly, no subscriptions. Simple and hassle-free, the LynQ devices pair together and a single button allows you to operate the device while the screen displays information in the most straightforward manner. Its design is rugged, allowing it to be used outdoors in harsh conditions, and its battery comes with a life of 3 days until needing a recharge. The LynQ pairs with multiple devices, allowing you to track people as well as set up a safe zone, alerting you when another LynQ device leaves the zone. With a range of up to 3 miles (5 kilometers), the LynQ is perfect for using at music festivals or crowded events, where cellular service is usually iffy and tracking people is near impossible. Its easy to use interface makes it great for parents wanting to keep a check on their children outdoors, and the fact that it comes with a rugged build, a clip for easy fastening, and the ability to work globally, makes it perfect for extreme sports and outdoor adventure traveling.
Smart, safe, and simple, the LynQ reinvents tracking as we know it, by plugging the holes in the GPS experience, and giving us an interface that makes tracking incredibly intuitive and easy.
Namibia’s Skeleton Coast has earned its name for being exactly that. The sands on the northwestern coastline of the country are littered with skeletons of both wildlife, as well as wrecked ships, giving the area a hauntingly beautiful vibe.
Amidst these wrecks, lies an establishment known as the Shipwreck Lodge, owned and run by the Natural Selection adventure company. Designed by Nina Maritz and Melanie Van Der Merwe, these lodges rather wonderfully complement the shipwrecks around them, taking inspiration from the dilapidated shipwrecks that surround them. The lopsided houses look like damaged hulls of ships from the outside, but present a quaint interior that gives you the feeling of being within a ship too, with its decor style. The houses are all powered by solar energy, with an impressive lounge and restaurant that’s just walking distance from the whimsical lodging area. The sand dunes outside look almost like waves too, giving you the feeling of sailing on land, with a view of the sprawling Atlantic Ocean not very far from the lodges themselves!
While Mr. Musk is invested in getting humans to places at breakneck speeds using unbelievable technologies, there may be one day where we circumvent this earth of ours without using a single drop of fuel. As the name suggests, SolarStratos is a manned aerial vehicle with a two-person capacity, an incredibly large wingspan, and the ability to completely run on solar power! The massive wingspan has a twofold purpose. It not only enables the plane to fly without using as much propelling power, but it also comes with solar panels mounted all over it.
The Swiss-based company’s plane sets records for being the first solar-powered airplane to reach heights of 25,000 meters. Made from custom as well as off-the-shelf parts, the SolarStratos comes with an Austrian-made 20 kWh battery, solar panels from California-based SunPower, and given the heights it reaches, the pilots will be clad in specially designed pressurized spacesuits made by Russian company Zvezda.
SolarStratos’s founder Raphaël Domjan hopes to develop a technology that can battle climate change and champion solar power over high octane fuel. Once the technology is proven to work, the company aims to build a 3-manned vehicle too that will include a pressurised cabin and will operate commercial space tourism flights as soon as 2021.
Ever felt mildly sick on a long road trip? To distract yourself from the problem, you start watching a movie on the iPad or a video on the phone, but it only gets worse? Well, that’s because your brain gets signals from the cochlea in your ear that you’re in a vehicle accelerating forwards (or moving side to side as the car switches lanes or rides on bumps), but your eyes capture a phone or tablet screen, which isn’t moving relative to your body. This dissonance causes your brain to feel sick, as your eyes and ears present two different experiences.
Citroën’s SEETROËN (clever name alert) is quite an ingenious device designed to help create a balance between those experiences, so your brain doesn’t get confused. The quirky looking glasses (designed to be worn only while traveling) come with four rings on the front and side with a liquid suspended in them. When in a moving vehicle, the liquid moves around too (working a lot like the cochlea does), giving the brain a visual stimulus that helps it understand the way you’re moving. When the car moves from left to right, the liquid in the ring does too, informing your brain of the movement as you watch movies on a screen or read a book. The rings stay on the boundaries of your vision, allowing you to see normally, while the liquid rings on the periphery don’t obstruct your vision, they just help your brain synchronize itself, reducing 95% of your motion sickness in as fast as 10 minutes!
This would probably be what I deem an unlikely place to put a screen, but the Bagtag, on the rare occasion that you’re running late to catch a flight, may just shave precious minutes off your checking-in routine, making sure you’re aboard the airlines. Although, when I think about it now, it helps even when you’re on time, by allowing you to spend more time in the lounge and less time queueing up to check your bags in.
The Bagtag is an electronic little gizmo that attaches to your bag, allowing you to check your bags in via your smartphone and beam the generated tag to the screen attached to your luggage. Doing so saves you the need to manually check each bag in (a problem that only gets worse when you’re stuck behind an unending line of people). The tag appears on the e-ink screen, making it easy to read and even scan via a barcode scanner. The Bagtag uses low-energy bluetooth to pull information from your smartphone, displaying the tag on a screen so robust it can take every bit of abuse that comes along with rough baggage handling by the airline staff. Stick it, strap it, screw it, the Bagtag stays in its place on all types of bags. It’s weatherproof, damage-resistant, and literally a headache to take off, which means your bags are less likely to get lost/misplaced because of a scuffed or torn tag. You’ll be doing your bit to protect the environment too by printing out less paper tags! Lastly, the Bagtag comes with state-of-the-art hardware encryption that allows you and only you to beam content to its e-ink screen… oh, and it comes with a 3V coin cell battery that lasts as long as 2,500 flights, which should easily last you a lifetime and some!
Lets a go!MariCar is a Japanese company that offers Mario Kart inspired tours of three different Japanese cities: Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa. If you haven’t already read enough and gone to book a flight to Japan, we actually have more to say about it.
You can dress up in Nintendo character costumes and others, before climbing in a street-legal go-kart for a guided tour of each city. Anyone with an international driving permit or a valid Japanese driver’s license can join the tour. You’ll hit speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour.
Just be aware that this isn’t going to be a crazy chaotic race. You have to obey all of the traffic laws. That means that if you actually do throw a banana peel, you’ll probably end up in jail dressed like Mario. Still, it sounds like a fun time, and a Japanese jail may be a risk I’m willing to take.