What will travel look like in fifty years? Will heavy suitcases and lineups be annoyances of the past? It is hard to know, but we can speculate.
Our predictions are based on bona fide technological advances.
Robots to carry luggage
Yotel NYC, the futuristic hotel where we filmed this video, has a robot bellhop. The 20-foot-tall arm lifts and stores baggage in a space-saving unit. A scanner and password system keeps the bags secure. No tip needed.
Goodbye to security searches and lineups
The technology is already here: NFC sensors and biometric information. In the airport of the future, passengers will scan their NFC-enabled smartphones at touch-points for instant security clearance.
No more restless flights and jetlag
The science of sleep has advanced considerably. Today, insomniacs can use Nightwave, which induces sleep through lights, and Dreamate, an acupressure wristband that stimulates melatonin. In the future, will a device put travelers to sleep for a predetermined amount of time? Or re-set the body clock to prevent jetlag?
Squeaky-clean public areas
Germ-killing UV light wands are already on the market. Recently, Xenex unveiled a hospital robot that disinfects surfaces with UV rays. In fifty years, might robot janitors roam public areas, zapping toilets and doorknobs?
What do you foresee for travelers of tomorrow? Will we have Jetsons hovercrafts or Star Trek transporters?
Yotel's lobby suggests that in the future, the moose will have evolved into a grinning, bearded creature.
Located at 10th Avenue and W42 in New York City, the hotel is hard to miss.
The lobby has a row of touch-screen computers for check-in.
Tumi's robot arm carries and stores luggage for guests.
On the 4th floor, chef Richard Sandoval's restaurant fuses Latin and Asian cuisine.
London's Softroom and NYC's Rockwell Group collaborated on the outerspace interior design.
Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, the rooms have space-saving elements such as retractable beds.
The VIP suite has a hot tub, 180 degree view, and dining table that converts to a billiard table.
On weekends, the lounge transforms into a club with special DJs.
Cabins begin at $149 a night, and can be booked via the Yotel NYC website.
Follow La Carmina on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lacarmina