Wearables Bring Back the Golden Age of Travel

Major innovations in air travel used to be left up to people like the Wright brothers and Amelia Earhart. Today, technology is ushering in a faster and more efficient travel experience. From full-body scanners to biometric chips in passports—and now wearables—technology defines the travel experience.
By Charlie Isaacs
Jul 25, 2016

In the 1950s, travel—as glamorous as it was—took a lot more effort. At the time, only two-thirds of American households had a telephone to call a Checker cab, let alone a smartwatch to summon a car at the tap of a button.

Fifty years ago, you could smoke on planes. Today, your smartwatch will send a reminder that you've been sedentary for too long, and that it's time to get up and stretch your legs. Back then, upon arrival at your destination, you would wait for a skycap to deliver your luggage to a counter, where you'd point it out and claim it. Now, you can track the whereabouts of your bags through an app on your wrist, so you know precisely where they are at any point during your journey. Years ago, your neighboring passenger was the main source of in-flight entertainment. These days, tablets, smartphones and wearables have taken their place.

If this is how drastic the changes have been in the past 50 years, we want to know what the next half-century will hold. The question is: How will wearable devices continue to alleviate our travel woes?

Wearables: Helping You Embrace the Journey Ahead
Wearables are beginning to change how we think about our travel experience and the overall journey upon which we embark. The technology industry has helped to completely transform what was once thought to be an overwhelming and chaotic experience, making it easier than ever—and allowing you to embrace a journey, full of journeys.

These days, if you're an early adopter, you will likely start your journey with a smartwatch notification letting you know that it is time to call a car to head to the airport. You'll tap the Uber app on your smartwatch, and you'll be on your way.

Let's think about some other ways in which you might use your wearable devices during air travel in the near future:

Your journey will continue as the Uber driver nears the airport, beacon technology and geofencing will allow airline employees to greet you at the terminal entrance, and your flight information will be pulled up right on your smartwatch. You'll easily pull up your boarding pass on the watch, thus cutting your check-in time in half.

As you drop your suitcase at the bag-drop, you'll be able to scan its digital luggage tag. With this capability, you'll be able to use your phone or watch to track the bag from the moment it enters the plane to the second it is loaded in pickup at the end destination.

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