Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Robot sex to tempt future tourists?

A couple of newspaper articles interested me today. The first was the announcement that the Government will pour $2 million over three years on research to keep up with changes in the tourism industry.

The research will be carried out by three New Zealand universities and will investigate scenario planning, climate change and factors around air travel.

Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp set the parameters of the research by making a statement that "tourists today were more concerned with climate change and their carbon footprint. They want to know that New Zealand is meeting its 100% Pure image."

We have no doubt that Mr Mapp's unfounded ideological words will be embedded somewhere in the final conclusions of the numerous reports that will be produced.

The second article that caught my eye was on the future tourism predictions by a tourism futurologist from Victoria University.

A revelation that has gone viral on overseas news services was the prediction that tourists will be soon using the services robot prostitutes.

I guess we should not be surprised. We have been told that our future tourists will be increasingly wringing their hands with the guilt of climate change and the size of their carbon footprint, so a natural conclusion is that they will be consoling themselves by indulging in a bit of robot-sex.

We wonder how much money we spent on that bit of research... ?
18 August 2009

It sounds like science fiction, but robot bar staff, hotel rooms that change colour, cruise ships as big as aircraft carriers and even robot sex are part of the future for travellers, a tourism conference has been told.

Tourism futurologist Ian Yeoman, from Victoria University, gave a preview of what the world could be like in 2050, shaped by global warming, an older population, food, water and jet fuel supply problems and technological advances.

Dr Yeoman said the future may see a more controlled society with a return to mass tourism spawning a range of new indoor tourism products.

Indoor artificial ski centres, circuses, zoos, golf courses and recreated landscapes, as well as giant cruise ships, could be among the new attractions. As costs for basics such as electricity and food increased, tourism operators could turn to robots as cheap labour.
Robot waiters at bars, remote-controlled camera-carrying guard dogs in hotel lobbies and self-cleaning hotel rooms were all likely.

"Robotics will become important, because you're going to have labour shortages in the future," he said. "You'll have some sort of interaction in terms of robots doing certain types of mundane activities."

Even robot "prostitutes" that would not pass on diseases such as HIV could make an appearance, he said.
"But you're talking about extreme futures."

Dr Yeoman said technology would also revolutionise hotel bedrooms, with beds that sensed a guest's comfort needs and chemical wallpaper that could change colour to suit a guest's mood.

Source: Click HERE

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