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Friday, August 31, 2012

Game Changers: "Hover Bikes" and Satellites

There are some interesting stories around concerning "hover bikes."

Basically ducted fan-style motorcycles.

Who knows if these are true or simply hoaxes but for me it seems like a logical place to do regarding transportation.

Most impressive is this video from Areoflex:

There is a link at Wired discussing it.

There is an Australian guy developing one as well in this article.

Now the claim on the Australian version is that a 4-cycle 1100 cc engine does all the heavy lifting - which is not much of an engine in the grand scheme of transportation world wide.

Supposedly the Czech's are building one as well:

More information on this is available here and here.

So is all this a hoax like the birdman video I posted a while back?  Its hard to tell...

But certainly there seems to be nothing impossible or wrong about this - provided the engine is capable enough power-wise and the fans efficient enough.

Like the Segway the idea has merit if it actually works.

So what's the market?

Its hard to say.  In order for a "consumer" to use this kind of device it would have to be stable no matter what.

No one would want this if a semi drove by and blew you off the bridge...

Similarly it would be easy to flip one of these over.

But at least some of these issues would be easily resolved with technology of various sorts.

For that matter - it would be easy to build a pilot-less robotic drone-type device - then by-by UPS, Fedex and USPS delivery man.  No more tires, no more payroll, vastly lower costs all around.

One the other hand it eliminates the need for ground contact via tires - thus eliminating the need for an entire industry.

Certainly it seems reasonable that within a few years this kind of technology could see the light of day in an "industrial" kind of setting, i.e., where no consumers are involved - law enforcement, interdiction, that sort of thing.

However, once at least one working version is out there I see a huge market - replacing the "smart car" for one.

Given a choice between a hove bike and smart car I'd go with the hover bike any day.

A game changer for sure if its real...

Another game changer I see is the effect of wired internet on DirecTV.

I've had DirecTV for many years and even used their satellite internet services before cable wires showed up in my rural neighborhood.

Its an excellent product - but its expensive.

HBO, at least in Nordic countries, is going Netflix (see this).

For that matter so is DirecTV - they now offer various "downloadable" programs.

Mostly this "downloading" and "Netflix" stuff sucks in my mind but its so cheap how can you hold out?

Satellite and cable become the new "Bell Telephone" delivering connectivity between two points - you and some giant server center full of "content."

You subscribe to "services" for cheap and view what you want when you want it.

DirecTV has one advantage in this model for home use in that the download aspect is very fast and doesn't require wires (though it does require a dish).

The "direct connect" model for HBO is how I see it going - HBO is going to be just "out there" and how you get it will be up to you - satellite, wire, wireless.

This will happen to ShowTime and all the rest as well.


I doubt it - more like race to the bottom squeezing out all the middlemen between the disk with the movie file on it and you.

Let's hope a big solar flare doesn't come by anytime soon. 

If one does DVD's will become golden more valuable than gold.

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