Recently, during a healthy dose of internet browsing, I learned about a company based in the Netherlands that is designing floating apartment complexes in anticipation of melting ice caps and population growth. I wandered my way over to their website to learn more and was amazed by all the innovative projects they have in their pipeline regarding “water living.” Take a look for yourself: http://www.waterstudio.nl/.
The idea of living in cities that float on the water (or under the water) really excites my inner engineer. Not only is it fascinating, but it is actually an entirely plausible future–although it is more likely to be a luxury than commonplace. I could see celebrity villages or vacation paradises constructed upon floating cities, secluded and private from the rest of society. It would be similar to how cruise ships are now, at least at first. Eventually, luxury will likely become necessity and many people will need to either move inland or move to floating cities.
It’s great to see a company that is innovating and improving technology ahead of the curve and preparing the world for things we will need in the future. (Unlike the space program, which we all know needs to start being awesome again soon!)
If you haven’t heard of the Hyperloop, that’s because it doesn’t exist yet. The same man who started Tesla Motors (attempting to create affordable, efficient electric cars) and SpaceX (attempting to decrease the cost of space travel) has come up with yet another innovation for transportation. The Hyperloop is essentially a vacuum tube (like the one at the bank) that will zip cylinders full of people at ridiculously high speeds between set locations. It would be like a high-powered subway system with fewer stops and could hypothetically cut a 3,000 mile journey down to just 45 minutes. The Hyperloop is still just a theoretical idea, but current technology isn’t far away from making it a reality for a cost actually cheaper than current highways or railroads (supposedly). Even if it turns out to be a bad idea for people to travel by, it could still expedite the transport of non-living goods significantly. http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/12/opinion/staley-hyperloop-transportation/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7
While we are on the subject of futuristic innovations… I find it pretty interesting (and humorous) how humanity seems to advance technologically by somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophesy. We all watch movies and read books about futures with flying cars and touch screens and holograms and rapid transportation and living in bubble colonies on Mars. Then we step into reality and look at some of the things we are actually building. There’s a pretty close comparison! Innovation is all about finding new ways to use old things or changing how something works slightly to make it more efficient or useful in unforeseen applications. And a lot of times these inspirations come from stories! Who knows what we’ll think of next!