Is your idea of a dream vacation one where you feel like you’re flying the whole time? You’re in luck (or you could be in a few years.)
A new ‘floating hotel’ concept straight out of The Jetsons is capturing the attention of travel-lovers and vacation industry leaders alike.
The proposal, born from the international architecture and engineering firm HOK, is known as Driftscape. It imagines an eco-conscious, self-sustaining series of airborne suites which would allow tourists to experience largely inaccessible parts of the world without negatively impacting the natural environment. The 'hotel' would hold 10 to 15 flying pods, known as 'Driftcrafts', which would accompany a central hub replete with a restaurant and lounge.
“To set off on an adventure, leave all comforts behind, and wander in pursuit of the unknown has been a fundamental urge of humankind throughout history,” HOK said in a statement.
”We thus set out in search of a way to fulfill this urge, seeking a fully immersive, unique way to experience this amazing world we live in from above and within.”
The Radical Innovation Award finalist concept centers on the 250-square foot units that would be made with high-impact polymers and lightweight aerospace alloys. The units could welcome up to two guests, and would include a bed and bath.
“Water and waste management would be no different than those in existing aircraft systems, but smaller in scale,” HOK stated.
The translucent units would include retractable support anchors that would allow them to land on any terrain without spoiling it, and would offer 360-degree vistas. Tourists would have the option of mapping out their own adventures from within the unit (which would be operated from the remote control hub).
“Customization and personalization are key to the Driftscape experience,” HOF stated. “Guests would be able to create their desired routes with command central, which would advise them of any limitations.”
While a tangible Driftscape model has yet to be created, officials say this could soon be a reality.
“The technology is already available in some form", stated the company, referencing the Ehang 184 - an electric-powered autonomous aerial vehicle - which is "expected to be available for commercial use in as early as five years.”
“Foreseen challenges regarding regulatory restriction that govern air space are expected,” the firm stated. “However rigorous testing and safety features that eliminate operational errors will help to allay concern and pave the way for widespread use.”
Banner image: HOK Network / Flickr.com