the future

Posts Tagged ‘the future’

From Box To Bike

After my two wheels and I slipped on wet pavement last week, I was glad my slightly bruised bike was not made of cardboard. Then again, it didn’t cost $20.

Izhar Gafni, an Israeli designer and cycling enthusiast, is gaining press for an invention that he hopes will, you know, change the world. His prototype for a cardboard bicycle (!) seeks to bring an inexpensive, durable and efficient form of transportation from the most impoverished villages of Africa to the world’s most impacted cities.

With government grants funding most of the production, the estimated cost per unit ends being up a mere $9. Gafni imagines the bikes will sell for about $20, as retailers have to make a profit. His company sees ad space on the bikes as their main form of revenue.

Worried about the boxy bike’s lifespan? Well, they’re so inexpensive longevity almost doesn’t matter! There is a standing option to recycle your bike back at the factory if it is damaged, and Gafni claims the cardboard creations will seldom need maintenance or adjustment.

Smaller bikes for children, wheelchairs and even motorized versions are in the works as the bikes begin rolling of the production line.

What Gafni likes about his bike the most? “It’s cardboard!” Duh.

Goodosphere Tells A Joke: The Future (Of Banjos)

We Were Promised Jet Propelled Wingsuits

What they never told us was that we would have to build them ourselves.

Gillieron/AP

Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy (no relation) has been toiling away at backpack jetflight for years now. His accomplishments are many: He’s flown across the English Channel, over the Alps, and just yesterday ducked out of a hot-air balloon near Lake Geneva and completed two aerial lops before parachuting back to terra firma.

Rossy is now waiting on the powers that be to grant him permission to self-jettison across the Grand Canyon. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is looking askance at the daredevil, who’s rumored to be a flight risk.

Double Down: The Future Is Piecemeal

Some time ago, Nimesh posted a piece that referenced this Kevin Smith production on flying cars. For the purposes of this post, I feel it’s worth revisiting:

All laughs aside, there’s definitely a contingent out there that feels we’ve been lied to by science, the movies, and the prophecies of patriarchs. We don’t have hoverboards, we don’t have Terminators, we keep pushing back Mars, and we certainly don’t have flying cars.

Or do we?

I was failing to fight my daily Huffington Post visit yesterday when I stumbled upon this aggregated AP piece on, well, a totally functional flying car. It isn’t the flying car from your dreams–there’s no compost feeds, super-svelte exteriors, or Bruce Willis. There’s not even a GPS system. It’s got upward mobility, though. It’s got wings:

A gang of Massholes from MIT started Terrafugia back in 2006 with the intention of getting an extremely good idea off the ground. They managed to make it happen within a presidential term. The Transition — half plane, half car — may be on the roadways of these 234-year-old United States by 2011. You’ll see them approaching in your rear view mirror and passing you on the skyside shoulder. You’ll see them filling up at your neighborhood ampm.

Like most things, the Transition won’t be cheap upon release: Terrafugia estimates a $200,000ish price tag. Like anything, the price will be fleeting. What’s important is that a piece of the future has arrived. It’s probably not perfect, but it’s a big step. If we don’t take the time to notice, it’ll pass us by. In that way, the future is a lot like life (not the cereal).

A happy Independence Day to all from Goodosphere.