Five for Friday: Other Forms of Travel That Won't Happen Before Hyperloop

This week* Hyperloop came and went, leaving a trail of speculation in its wake. If you weren’t on the Internet this week and have no clue as to what I’m talking about, Elon Musk – the current real life Tony Stark, of Space-X and Tesla fame – demonstrated his idea for high-speed travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The idea itself is something out of 1950s futurism: Tubes parallel to the interstate freeway, shooting people in pods 800 mph between the two cities.

If Hyperloop can get up and running, it would no doubt change collaboration between the Bay Area and LA. The commute would be a mere 30 minutes, and solar power would keep costs and ticket prices down. This would allow riders to attend separate meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles as easily – and maybe more easily – than getting from one meeting in Palo Alto and another in San Francisco.

There are other methods of transportation that are also in the works that will bring us even closer together to other cities, and even the stars. However, all of these are a ways off. In the meantime we still have have stuffy planes and miles of asphalt, which is why unified communications and BYOD are still important. We can still take a look at some of the most futuristic transport ideas out there and see how close they are to reality.

1. Teleportation

THE DREAM: How awesome would this be? No long lines at the airport, no all-day international flights, no screaming toddlers on the red-eye. Just one place to the next with all of the ease of putting on a pair of pants.

THE REALITY: China has successfully teleported a photon. Not a hamster, a photon. Also this is called quantum teleportation, and isn’t geared towards sending you from work to vacation. Also, you’ll probably die. On the off chance you don’t, there’s what I will call “The Fly” problem (from the movie). You see, you are not really just you. Inside of you there’s over a trillion organisms. So the transporter would have to copy and reassemble your gut bacteria too, somehow without mixing you and them up. Which means you should probably keep driving your car into work.

2. Warp Drive

THE DREAM: If you love space operas, you’ve probably seen this scene: The captain stands at the helm authoritatively, orders the pilot, and then suddenly there’s a cool CG shot where the stars are all blurry. It was probably called jumping, warp, hyperspace, hyperspeed, FTL, or something similar. However they’re all the same, the ability to travel faster than the speed of light. The meeting on the Mars colony? Who needs a video conference, you’re going to be there in a few minutes.

THE REALITY: We think this is possible, and NASA is testing it out. You wouldn’t be traveling through space, space itself would be moving, contracting behind your ship and expanding in front, as you rest within a “warp bubble.” While scientists are in the testing and building phases, don’t expect a trip to the Alpha Centauri Marketing Conference anytime soon. NASA has yet to prove that warp bubbles can be created – much less exist. Their technology is so delicate that even the slightest seismic motion can skew the data.

3. Hoverboards and Anti-Gravity Transportation

THE DREAM: Okay, so this is more like a hobby form of transportation, but I would consider trading in my car for a hoverboard if someone told me I could. How cool would it be to cruise on into work on your hoverboard? Or you head in on your speeder bike? You would no longer be a slave to gravity!  

THE REALITY: We want hoverboards, badly. But true anti-gravity technology (not powerful fans) may not be real. Scientists think it may be related to anti-matter and are testing for it, but the results so far are inconclusive. We do however have other possible options that will produce a similar effect, just not that true anti-gravity tech we grew up watching.

image courtesy of gizmodo.au

4. The Space Elevator

THE DREAM: Say Google’s new headquarters were located on the Google HQ Space Station. While you couldn’t hop on a Google bike and ride on up there, you could take the Google Space Elevator. Just strap in and check in with your boss via your Avaya One-X Mobile app as the elevator shoots up into space on a series of cables. It docks, and you float in to catch your Q3 meeting and some free space food packets.

REALITY: We want this to happen, but as of right now we don’t have strong enough materials to make the components needed. And that’s just one of the many complications.

5. Self-Driving Car

THE DREAM: Driving yourself is a thing of the past, because your sedan has a silly- looking spinning camera on top that helps drive you around. Just sit back and get work done or play Candy Crush while getting chauffeured around.

THE REALITY: This is the one piece of tech on this list that’s actually close to being cracked, and we’re getting excited. Google’s smart cars can be seen zipping around the Bay Area, whether they’re out on the highway or stopping off to let their riders buy some comics. The cars so far have been largely successful, including mostly accident-free, for the past few years, but they still need supervision and are not considered “fully autonomous”. While some smart cars may be rolling out within the next few years, a completely self-driven car is still several years away. Also, you’re going to have to get used to not freaking out
you aren’t controlling your own car
. Still though, you could very well have a fully decked out Avaya virtual office in your self-driving car in several years. Giving you the full power of collaboration on the highway.



*This article has time traveled from the past! Or it’s been re-posted at a later date. Whatever.


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Liberty Mutual

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Exelon

Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon is the leading competitive provider of energy in the U.S. Its business includes power generation, competitive energy sales, and transmission and delivery. It operates in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Having grown through acquisitions, in 2016 Exelon had six separate ACD environments serving multiple business units. The decision was made to consolidate the disparate platforms onto a single platform to drive efficiencies, performance improvements, and cost savings. After evaluating options from Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys, Exelon chose Avaya. The company operates in a regulated environment and has demanding SLAs for customer-facing contact centers. Exelon says, “In the contact center space, today we’re living in a 24-hour real-time world.’’ Its Avaya solution helps keep the company in compliance and moving forward.

Energisa

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Inova Health System

Northern Virginia’s leading healthcare provider, Inova serves people throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area and the surrounding community. Inova is shaping the future of health through its integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services, and destination institutes. Staff productivity is an ingredient in delivering superior patient care. Moving from a Communication Server 1000 to the Avaya Aura® Platform with the Avaya Equinox® Experience has allowed Inova to embrace mobility for care givers and improve the patient experience.

Boeing

To improve customers’ experience when calling its customer call center, Boeing worked with Avaya and DevConnect partner Appcom to simplify its contact center operation and create a single, integrated dashboard that eliminates multiple steps and automates workflows. The updates free up agents to help more customers and address their technical issues.

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We have greater freedom to invest. We will emerge from chapter 11 with reduced debt and increased cash flow, giving us greater opportunities to invest in people, processes, and game-changing innovations.

We have re-engineered our operations. We are now sharply focused on accelerating innovation and delivering solutions with greater relevance for our customers and partners. We are committed to making it easier for customers and partners to do business with Avaya and to delivering excellence in execution—Avaya will be the company that says what it will do and does what it says.

We have modernized our technology. For the past 12 months, we have been focused on advancing our core platforms, making them faster and simpler to adopt and integrate new functionalities and leverage emerging technology trends. We are expanding our ability to meet the transforming needs and priorities of our customers with greater speed and agility—and enable them to create the outstanding experiences that inspire loyalty in their customers.

We have done all this with one goal in mind—to be ready to emerge from chapter 11 and move forward stronger than ever.

At Avaya, we’re ready to seize the day because we believe we are going to deliver a better tomorrow for our partners, our customers, and our people. We’re looking forward to sharing more about the new Avaya in the weeks and months to come.

Avaya Advanced Solutions for Today Dispel a “Legacy” Label

Having been with Avaya since 2003, I thought I had seen every tactic our competitors could employ against us. However, now that we have been through the toughest of times and are ready to emerge, stronger than ever, I realize I was wrong. The level of FUD our competition is trying to spread, and the lengths they are prepared to go to are a testimony to our strengths. And it tells me one thing: the competition is preparing for the day we exit from Chapter 11. But we already prepared—in fact, we are ready to emerge stronger than ever, together with our ecosystem of people.

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Today, we are helping customers achieve their digital transformation objectives, we are creating customer experiences that go beyond digital, and our open platforms are unleashing the creativity of our customers, partners, and teams to drive innovation.

The company that competitors are trying to dismiss as “legacy” is the same company that just presented at GITEX a use case for bringing blockchain into the customer experience. Avaya is leveraging AI capabilities to enhance experiences for our banking and emergency services customers. We are working with fintechs in the Asia-Pacific region to create solutions for their mobile and web customer interactions. Avaya is working with Bosch, a global leader in technology and services, to build the workplace of the future. I am proud to say that the Emirates group recently referenced the work we are doing with dnata as making a positive contribution to their financial results. This is hardly the mark of a legacy vendor.

While our competitors are losing credibility by sticking with the “legacy” tag, the reality is that we are ready to equip our customers, partners, and teams with the tools they need to be more relevant than ever. We’ve re-engineered our platforms and are uniquely positioned to allow our customers and partners to build, test, and deploy their own solutions quickly and securely. This is our commitment to openness coming to life and bringing value to the communities we touch and work with. Once we are free of our debt burden, we will be free to invest in R&D, which will consign the “legacy” tag to the dustbin.

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