From “flash to bang”: why are some technology sectors so slow to respond to demand?

Andrew Healey's picture

We have become so used to technology keeping up with us and our own demands, that it is surprising to learn that only now has an aircraft manufacturer (Boeing http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32311556) designed luggage bins that reflect the current shorthaul air transport market.  After all, the airlines have for years been making it harder and much more expensive for us to travel with check-in luggage.

Image result for scottevest imagesEnterprises have capitalised successfully and quickly on their ability to circumvent airline luggage nonsense.  For some time now, technology clothing designer SCOTTeVEST has been making clothing in which one can keep technology kit rather than pack it away.  My colleague Christopher uses a so-called "Travel Vest" http://www.scottevest.com/v3_store/Travel_Vest.shtml that is, to all intents and purposes, a wearable briefcase. His currently contains a tablet, iPhone, Creative Zen MP3 player with radio, charging battery for the above, writing equipment and paper notebook, painkillers and earplugs, reading glasses and sunglasses, wallet, the list goes on….

At the same time, organisations in the private and public sectors are researching technologies that will render much of the above redundant.  At Advancing Blade Communications we organise and facilitate "Talking to the Media" courses for EngD postgraduate students at the University of Surrey in Guildford (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ces/activity/engd/).  Four or five years ago, we trained one such student from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) whose "nanotechnology” researches related to building technology into textile fabrics. Before too long, she predicted, much of the technology listed above will be built into a shirt or jacket that will not only become our technological “second self”, but will recharge itself every time we turn our head, raise our arm – or simply breathe in and out.

 Perhaps when that happens, Boeing will reduce the size of its luggage bins to the point where the seats we sit in may have sufficient space to enable us to actually relax!

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