I frequently fly transatlantic as part of my job. Over the past few years I’ve been excited to see airlines (Delta, Lufthansa, Air Berlin) begin to offer two things: (1) in seat AC power and (2) internet access throughout the flight. Now I can run my laptop the entire flight and, or daytime flights, stay connected with my team back in Berlin.
Last week I was fortunate to be rerouted from a Delta codeshare KLM fight (no power, no internet) onto Lufthansa (power, internet). On the daytime flight from Frankfurt to Chicago I spent nine hours of blissful time catching up on a ton of work that required online access. I was able to slack with my team the whole time, send emails, and work on shared documents. At one point, I was working on a prototype of a voice assistant project – the IDE was running on my laptop and deploying code to Heroku, I was using API.AI to develop the natural language interface, and used Amazon Alexa ADK to generate sample Alexa calls. Traffic was constantly flowing between all of the nodes. All from my seat on the plane.
Ten years ago we didn’t have smart phones. We were just a few years past modems. Streaming media was mostly a dream. There certainly wasn’t wifi on planes.
The jury is still out whether I’ll miss the eight hours of uninterrupted quiet time on planes bing-watching of movies that I probably didn’t want to see – there’s certainly something to be said for being unplugged. But I sure as heck like the option to stay connected.
What a difference a decade makes. It makes me wonder what the net decade will bring. Can’t wait – should be a wild ride.