passenger drone

etoys: what’s here and what’s on the horizon

the future is here

Every wonder what the future would look like when you were a kid? Flying cars, motorized  scooters, houses that did everything for you…. Look around. It’s happening. And the best part? The vast majority of these technologies are electric.

Why is that so great?

Because you and I know that we have a great big ball of clean renewable energy beaming down to us from the heavens/ outer space.

Magic right?

So… therefore, our future, with all of this Jetsons-esq technology is going to be fueled by renewable energy. And if you’ve played your cards right and you own a solar power generating system within your home, powering these toys is now cheap to free.

Let’s take a look at the toys that you could be playing with (guilt free) that you’ll be fuelling with the sun.

what’s here…

city

Cities are incredibly dense environments. Traffic. People. Noise.

Admittedly these are my worst nightmare. Exaggeration… maybe. But i’d take my serene mountain town over that scene, anyday. Our differences make the world go round.

One thing I do note when I go back to the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia (my stomping grounds as a kid), is how the density of the place is ever increasing. It’s incredible. And the thing that stands out most?

The traffic.

Now, until recently, it’s been the car or the bus. They’re your options. The distance between towns is too far to walk (in a reasonable time), and the car will take you three times as long as it should because of the traffic.

But check it out!

The future just happened in front of our eyes and now there are like…

A SQUILLION FREAKIN ELECTRIC TOYS!

Let’s start at the obvious. Cars. Electric cars are not the hottest news off the press. They are however gaining traction as more and more companies are building them. Not only that, new companies are being borne from the industry even existing (*cough* the rivian truck is on my vision board).

So thats a given. Then I guess it’s one’s natural progression to assume motorcycles would be next. Yup. electric motorcycles exist already. And they are dope.

With one particular Zero setup, you can travel up to 223 miles in the city or 112 miles on the highway.

I’m sorry. Was that 358 km on the highway? 180 km in the city?

On a single charge. Oh, yeah. And quietly too.

So sure. Motorbikes… not so hard to believe. How about Semi’s?

Yup.

Multiple players in fact. Of course each differing in its approach and spec’s, but the ball is well and truly rolling for this sector of the industry. But let’s say you’re not a semi driver. You’re someone who lives in the city with a tendency to not like traffic. Or someone who lives in a small town that doesn’t want to have to get in their car to drive 10 minutes down to the shop, but to walk would be a  2 hour round trip.

Enter the future.

If you happen to be a big kid at heart, your life is about to get instantly more fun, all in the name of adulting and responsibility for the environment.

Have an above average level of agility and sportiness? Why not take your electric skateboard out to the shops instead? Some of these things can take you to where you want to go, at the posted speed limit! Not that I suggest going fast is fun. Neither is racing cars on your skateboard. But let’s face it. If your skateboard went 50 km/hr and could travel 50 kms on a charge…. I’m sure the thought would cross your mind.

But again, maybe you’re not an athlete. At least, not an extreme athlete. Well then… let me ask you this.

Were you ever a kid?

Sweet. I’ve got a solution for you. Ebikes. Just like your old bike that you loved so incredibly much. The one that gained you that sense of independence as a kid. The one that offered you freedom and the excitement of adventure.

Yup. They’re here too. And they are getting cooler by the day.

I first remember seeing the Ego kits come out a number of years back now. They were a DIY kit that turned your bike into a self powered vehicle, via a battery you housed in your backpack. It blew my mind the first time I saw it.

But now… now they have factory designed downhill e bikes, street cruiser e bikes (townie’s, if you’re in the know), foldable city e bikes… the list goes on.  And the ranges on these things are better than the skateboards! Like… many multiples of times better. Like the guiness world record of 367.037 kms on a single charge from one of Delfast’s bikes.

Right?

Alright. So you never mastered riding a bike. No problem. I bet you rocked the scooter as a kid, didn’t you? Check this out. An electric scooter these days can get you up to 50 mi in range. These are probably the best choice for inner city travel anyway, as they can be small underfoot and foldable enough to carry when required. Plus, you already know how to ride the thing and they’re agile, light and easy to store. Anywhere. Office, home, car… whatever.

So you get it. Etoys exist. They got motors, and stuck ‘em onto your old forms of transport.

Whoopee.

But that’s just where it begins.

Remember how nerdy segways were when they first came out? (Sorry segway, but you were.)

Well… now they’ve come out of their awkward pre pubescent years and evolved into the cool kids of city mobility.

And they’ve built FREAKIN GO KARTS!!!

Do you know what this means? Now we can all play mario kart in the street/ location that’s not on the street and is a much safer alternative FOR REAL! Shotgun being Yoshi.

But seriously. Go karts. They’re cool. But then there’s this thing called Lomo. I don’t know… how do you…

Just watch this…

Like I said…

THE FLIPPEN FUTURE IS HERE!

And for the not so sporty types, like nanna, segway have a working concept mobile lazyboy. I kid you not. An electric, sit in, self balancing recliner that looks like it came from the set of back to the future.

I mean, nanna can now look way hip, cruising down to bingo in her new spaceship.

Oh pardon?

Spaceships flying around willy nilly would never happen? You sure?

Guess again.

Enter, Lilium

I know. It’s game changing. You can land this thing in your driveway. And check out this for range… it can fly you 186 mi (300km), as the crow flies… in an hour!

Granted this particular company is intending on rolling this out as an air taxi service. It’s only a matter of time however, until automated personal aircraft become a reality.

Imagine.

Escaping for the weekend, out of the city without the hours of traffic jams on a friday afternoon. Soaking up the last of your Sunday because home is now an hour away instead of 3 or 4… and someone else is driving.

Or…

Imagine how accessible rural areas will suddenly become.

My personal dream is remote living with easy access to the city. Cheap land, ALL the nature, ALL the quiet. But when things go pear shaped, you want the accessibility of hospitals. When you need to travel, you want to be near an airport. Heck, it’d be nice to go out for cocktails in the city on the odd occasion.

This technology opens all those doors.

Also, it will help spread inner city density… be it what it will.

And if you thought they couldn’t go any bigger…

Electric commercial and personal planes, seaplanes and helicopters all presently exist. And they are crushing their conventionally fuelled counterparts in the emissions field. It may still be a couple of years until we see them become mainstream, but the way things are going… the sky’s the limit… ooh, sorry. I couldn’t not.

so what’s on the horizon?

Is that it? Am I done?

Far from it. I’ll  save “off road, sea and snow toys” for another article and another day. I will, however, leave you with this.

And while it’s not an electric vehicle,  this star wars like contraption is an indication of where the next few years are going to be taking us. It’s only a matter of time.

No, it’s not a joke. JetPack Aviation are taking pre-orders for these things. Not like their actual working jetpacks that are fully developed and in production as we speak.

That’s right. You can buy a jetpack today, if you wanted to. I think I’m going to wait until they come out with an electric one so I can power it from the sun, and not from fossil fuels. But that’s just me. 

the final thought

The future is upon us my friends. So, what do we do with it? Well, in the words of some guy I’ve never heard of…

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” -(Leon C. Megginson)

Good thing for me. I’m not that strong. Or bright.

But I’ll happily buy a go kart.

 

Happy futur-ing.

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m.j.johnston@icloud.com

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Hey folks, I'm mj. I live in a gorgeous inland temperate rainforest in BC, where i get to enjoy countless facets of nature on the daily. This setting allows me to play in the outdoors in every season with my beautiful family. I'm on a mission to play a role in helping preserve our natural world, so that our collective progeny may also enjoy it for years to come.