Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to Internet connected devices beyond phones and computers—think smart thermostats, personal fitness trackers, and Wi-Fi–enabled speakers. Now the travel industry is getting in on the trend. Consider Disney's MagicBand, a combo room key, credit card, and park pass that follows guests around Disney World. Disney says the wristband lets visitors travel lighter and enjoy faster access to attractions. Expect the flood of information collected by IoT devices to bring other conveniences, such as easy luggage tracking for passengers and better estimates of wait times at airport security checkpoints.
When they become ubiquitous, self-driving cars may completely change the way you approach traveling. Among other things, autonomous vehicles may compete with short-haul flights, eliminate the need for overnight stops, and transform public transit. What could top that? Speed. The California High-Speed Rail project aims to link San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2029 with a train that reaches up to 220 mph, shortening the trip to under 3 hours. Next gen supersonic airplanes could connect New York and London with a 3.5-hour flight by 2023 or so. For ultra long-distance travelers, SpaceX hopes to shuttle paying passengers around the moon and back.