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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:07AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the the-future-is-complete dept.

Over the next four weeks, BBC News will be offering a snapshot of the day in the life of a city - looking at how technology is transforming our urban landscapes, now and in the future.

Their first snapshot? What it will be like to commute by jetpack.

We start as urban dwellers around the world begin the day - with the morning commute. In the future, that may mean hailing a jetpack.

"Jetpacks will be part of future cities," Peter Coker, vice-president of innovation at KuangChi Science, Martin Aircraft Company's major Chinese shareholder.

"I see it as being the Uber of the sky."

Martin Aircraft Company, based in New Zealand, already has a working prototype that can fly at 2,800ft (850m) at 45km/h (27mph) for 28 minutes.

And Mr Coker says commuters will be able to hail an unmanned jetpack via a smartphone app.

Futurism is always fun. How would you prefer to get to work, by jetpack, Hyperloop, or VR?


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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:14AM

    by looorg (578) on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:14AM (#452875)

    If you thought other people where shitty drivers just imagine them one jetpacks ... in an urban environment. People smashing into houses, power lines, other people on jetpacks, jetpacks running out of power and people plummeting to the ground ...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:25AM (#452876)

      Autonomous jetpacks! No experience necessary!

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:20PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:20PM (#452919)

      One thing's for sure: there are a lot of circumstances in which flying a jetpack could really become a pain in the keister.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:24PM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:24PM (#452920) Journal

        For example: jetpack envy.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:47PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:47PM (#452924)

          I was thinking much more like a "pants-on-fire" moment. Strapping a rocket to your back does not seem like a very smart idea to me.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @02:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @02:32PM (#452943)

        You're wearing in wrong.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:52PM (#452932)

      People smashing into ... other people on jetpacks...

      Sounds like a spectator sport to me.

      ...jetpacks running out of power and people plummeting to the ground...

      The Apple iJet. We removed the fuel gauge so you don't need to worry about running out of fuel and falling out of the sky.

    • (Score: 2) by dak664 on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:37PM

      by dak664 (2433) on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:37PM (#452987)

      I'd worry more about snipers trying to stop the additional pollution to what's left of their environment.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by maxwell demon on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:29AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:29AM (#452878) Journal

    How would you prefer to get to work, by jetpack, Hyperloop, or VR?

    Walking. Yes, it's not futuristic, but I really like being in walking distance from my place to work.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Thursday January 12 2017, @02:25PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday January 12 2017, @02:25PM (#452942)

      I'm jealous of that. All the apartments within about a mile of my apartment are expensive one bedroom crapsack apartments, or they're two bedroom apartments going for more than double the price.

      I'd consider more than one mile out, but I live in the midwest, so sidewalks are kind of an afterthought and weather has pretty inhospitable extremes. I'm pretty well adjusted to the cold so I don't mind walking when it's between about 0-70F, but 70+ at 90% humidity (roughly half the year) is pretty intolerable for me and my coworkers by the time I get in. The houses around there go for about 300k+ for a tiny one, are surrounded by country clubs and golf courses, and are plagued by the same sidewalk issues that the apartments have. Real estate prices in St. Louis is quickly spiraling out of control. It's expanding faster than housing is being built unless you want to live 45+ minutes away.

      Instead I live in a large, surprisingly nice apartment in a mostly black neighborhood about 10 miles out, and just drive about 10-15 minutes to work. At least I can avoid the interstates around here.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:08PM (#453017)

        I don't mind walking when it's between about 0-70F

        You and are are opposites in sensitivities.
        Below 72F, I start getting uncomfortable.
        Below 40F, I'm completely useless.

        but 70+ at 90% humidity (roughly half the year) is pretty intolerable for me

        The Heat index chart [wikipedia.org] doesn't even list values below 80F.
        Where I grew up, a heat index over 110F wasn't uncommon, so it's that to which I'm acclimated.

        Of course, for many job descriptions, -walking- to work in those warm conditions would require showers at a workplace.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:15PM

          by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:15PM (#453044)

          It's strange. I've lived where the 'normal' temp range is about -10 - 105 F all my life, and I simply cannot acclimate to much higher than 70 or so. I can deal with as high as 75-80 if I'm stationary, but the moment it goes much higher I just sweat profusely and feel terribly uncomfortable. I tried really hard to get used to it last summer, and did pretty well by the end of it (I could stand walking at about 75 degrees with minimal sweating) but I'm sure I'll have to start over again this year.

          Compared to cold weather, where I can sit comfortably for hours in tshirt and shorts down to 60F, enjoy light movement with no coat or at most light jacket if it's windy/rainy down to about 40F, and moderate activity in a light to medium coat and maybe a hat below that.

          Now that I think about it, I don't think I wore anything heavier than a windbreaker, jeans, and a flannel shirt pretty much all last winter when I was outside.

          --
          Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:22PM (#453047)

      In a number of places, an increasingly valued thing is the walkable city. [google.com]

      A current sticking point is legacy zoning that segregates "commercial" from "residential".
      ...and existing places, e.g. Irvine, CA, which were built around the notion of the automobile.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:30AM (#452879)

    Futurism is always fun. How would you prefer to get to work, by jetpack, Hyperloop, or VR?

    What is this "work" you speak of?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:52AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:52AM (#452882)

      that corner where you sit down to ask for money from the 1% who have it. that will be your job.
      their job will be to stay alive in a world where everybody hates them.

      food, clothes and shit? robots (owned by the 0.01%, and operated by the 1%).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:58AM (#452886)

        if people use jetpacks routinely, they have basic income
        else if people do not use jetpacks routinely, no basic income

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:50AM (#452893)

          if people do not use jetpacks routinely in the future while enjoying basic income, it will be because all civilization was destroyed

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:35AM (#452890)

        I don't know about you, but I have no problems to produce shit on my own. No robots needed for that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:13AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:13AM (#452899)

          You can't produce shit on your own without food to eat.

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by Unixnut on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:15PM

            by Unixnut (5779) on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:15PM (#452983)

            You can't produce shit on your own without food to eat.

            But you can produce your own food to eat, which will then allow you to produce shit on your own, and so bootstrap the eat/shit cycle.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Thursday January 12 2017, @11:41AM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday January 12 2017, @11:41AM (#452914) Homepage
    I've seen futurism's output in person for about 40 years, but of course I've seen earlier predictions as they get rolled out again later (often purely for comic effect), and to be honest, most of it is utterly tawdry. So little of it seems to pay attention to little things like the laws of physics (such as the amount of energy input required for the effect desired, and the energy dissipated too).

    What I look forward to in the future is the implementation of things that have been not just good ideas but practically possible for decades. Things like Thorium reactors.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @11:48AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @11:48AM (#452916) Journal

      Wanna have fun with futurism? Put Next Big Future in your RSS feeds.

      Hybrid Fusion Fission Molten Salt Reactor [nextbigfuture.com]

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:06PM (#453039)

      All that needs to happen is someone thinking it's a grand enough idea to invest money to make it happen.
      So far, no takers.

      Solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal are getting the investments.
      ...and, at the end of the lifetimes of those devices, they won't leave radioactive structures to deal with.
      The future appears to be one that is renewable and more distributed.

      Now, if Thorium reactors were to be used to consume the tens of thousands of tons of existing radioactive waste from the nuke plants that were based on bomb-making notions, THAT -would- be a good thing.
      Not holding my breath.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:34AM (#453154)

        It's too bad we need gobs of power *right now*.
        Only nukes can fill that carbon-free power gap in the immediate term. The world can't wait.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:37AM (#453155)

          I forgot to add that because we need the reactors immediately, they will have to be technology that is ready now: uranium.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:46AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:46AM (#453158)

            A nuke takes a decade to get into operation.

            A neighborhood can be solarized in a week.

            Your argument is nonsense.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Uncle_Al on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:08PM

    by Uncle_Al (1108) on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:08PM (#452947)

    I prefer the notion of commuting by trebuchet

    • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:42PM

      by jimshatt (978) on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:42PM (#452959) Journal
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:09PM (#452980)

      "You're fired!" ... *Kaffflloooong!*

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:08PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:08PM (#452997)

        No no no no, you've got it wrong:
        Management commutes by trebuchet.
        Peons commute by slingshot.
        Layoffs are conducted by cannon. It's like ex-presidents getting a last ride home on Marine One, but more thrilling.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:57PM (#452992)

      Everyone in the future will be commuting via pneumatic tube.