Three futuristic products you'll never own

No, you won't drive a flying car, wear augmented reality glasses or use a virtual reality PC

By , Computerworld |  Hardware, future tech

Because it's an airplane, all the rules, costs, certifications, training and more apply. You'll need to be an experienced and certified pilot with special training to fly a Transition. You'll have to take off and land at airports, plan your flights and monitor the weather, participate in the air traffic control system, stay within approved airspace and all the rest. The Transition is certified as a "Light Sport Aircraft," so its use is more limited even than a regular Cessna.

The Transition gives you three benefits over airplanes that are not street-legal. First, you don't have to get out of one vehicle and get into another when you arrive at the airport. Second, it's easier to transport (taking a regular airplane by road usually involves removing the wings and renting a trailer). And third, the biggest benefit is that you might not have to rent a car when you arrive at your destination.

Sounds great. But what's the downside?

The Transition is both an inferior car and an inferior airplane. It's much slower and much less safe than to drive or fly than ordinary cars and ordinary airplanes. It doesn't handle all that well on roads or in the sky.

It's also expensive, starting at $270,000. If you're going to spend that kind of money, you'd be smarter to buy a sweet BMW and a brand-new Cessna.

The Terrafugia Transition will be enjoyed by a very small number of wealthy, novelty-loving pilots in unique circumstances (they'd have to live somewhere that had great roads near the airport, for example).

You and I will never own one.

Why you won't wear Google's augmented reality glasses

Google this week unveiled a prototype of a Google research initiative called Project Glass.

The goal of the research project is to figure out how to build many of the features of a smartphone into a pair of glasses. Images will be projected into one of your eyeballs, so menus, options, screens, directions and more will appear to hover in the space in front of you. Eye movements, blinking and voice commands will serve as the input.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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