Closing The Loop
The man behind PayPal has unveiled his plans for a closed Hyperloop which he believes could see passengers being transported between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a fraction of the current time. Powered by solar energy the system is designed to transport people and cars using a version of the old “pneumatic tubes” system which once transported documents around offices.
Slightly alarmingly, the inventor Elon Musk has described his invention as a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table.” However, he believes that his invention could cut the journey time between the two cities from over five hours to a mere half an hour.
Whether or not the system ever gets off the ground it is a perfect example of the way in which the power of technology can be harnessed to smooth our lives. In an always-on, ever demanding world there simply isn’t the time to stand and stare, to sit in traffic or to wait in phone queues. When we need to move, to communicate, to get answers, we want the process to be as smooth and seamless as possible.
Luckily the technology is already in place to meet some of our immediate needs. Take telephone answering for example. The advent of the virtual switchboard has enabled businesses of all sizes to take advantage of a system which offers all of the functionality of an old PABX switchboard but at a fraction of the cost. So whether you run a one man band or a worldwide multi-office empire your callers can receive a telephone answering service which is seamless and effective.
With a virtual switchboard being fully customisable and easily programmed, businesses can map out their optimum call answering pathways. And if the business model changes it is simple to change the call route. With hunt groups, caller recognition, answerphone and recorded message at your fingertips, businesses can route calls swiftly to any department or individual.
In fact with a virtual switchboard linked to local or regional numbers there is no need to have an office in separate cities or even separate countries; one office can receive calls which have been routed from across the world. Add in call recording and call conferencing and you don’t even need to travel to meet with customers and suppliers, you can communicate with them quickly and easily from the comfort of your own office.
Will the Hyperloop ever take off, we don’t know. But what we do know is that inventions which seek to push the boundaries, in big ways and small ways are changing the world and making life easier for us all.