It is just a matter of realization, that teleportation was already possible years ago, and even more so now, just not in the sort of way that requires every subatomic particle of the human body to be dematerialized. Teleportation is achievable using current technology and business models. It does not have to be some technological marvel, but an actual revenue stream, an actual business. This idea is about such business.
Whatever we might imagine under teleportation, it is very important to remember what is its purpose. Just like getting fast from Red Sea to Mediterranean Sea does not require extremely fast ships to double the Cape of Good Hope, because we have built Suez canal. Or just like aeronautical transportation does not require people to have wings, but instead use the airplane. So what is the purpose? The purpose of teleportation is to instantaneously appear somewhere else, wherever you like and whenever you like, then do what you want there, and finally come back. Most of the time anyway, and most of the time is good enough.
So how is it achievable and how can it be implemented? Well, there are many different models that I can think of, that would result in different availability and different price points. Essentially it will come down to the business strategy. One option is to have low degree of leverage, which will enable highest flexibility since most of the related costs are variable. This could be the cheap version of the service. The other one involves the same variable costs, but additionally some assets would have to be invested in to improve service quality. This would greatly reduce flexibility and increase the price point needed to break even.
If we do not get distracted from the purpose of teleportation, once we are teleported somewhere, we will see and hear the surroundings, look around, walk around and start doing what we came there to do. To achieve this we will use the existing technologies. We can see by transmitting digital video (3D video could be possible using two cameras). We can hear by transmitting sounds captured using microphones. To be able to hear stereo sound we just need to have two microphones. And to do whatever we like in the place we have teleported, we need a form of interaction.
The concept is realized using number of small offices all around the world, which would employ people that would work as Teleportation Agents. Every agent would have a special hat, with mounted digital cameras transmitting video in HD or SD depending on the signal strength. This hat will also contain a pair of microphones to transmit sounds in high quality, again switching to low quality in case of low signal strength. Additionally, every agent will carry a backpack, which will contain a battery pack and other supporting equipment, like antennae and networking gear.
Teleportation Services will use 3G wireless networks at first, but can be implemented using number of other internetworking technologies. For example satellite communications can be used to cover such remote areas as Himalayas or DRC. The service is really intended to be a Franchise, and the more people join around the world, the better the service will be.
Interaction will be implemented using simple communication interface. Every Teleportation Agent will be equipped with personal media viewer, like the ones produced by MYVU, where relevant information will be displayed. Since media viewers will be worn by agents at all times, effectively they will be equipped with a HUD, which will instruct them for further actions. Symbols will be implemented for most popular commands, and text field will be used to display arbitrary commands in English and in the native language of the agent simultaneously (automatically translated from English).
The standard set of symbols will always be visible. These are directional arrows, stop sign, desired speed indicator, and “go inside” and “go outside” symbols.
Symbols will have very intuitive meaning. For example when the customer will want to go inside some object or property, the “go inside” symbol will light up, and the Teleportation Agent will go inside the property. Likewise, when the agent is inside a property or inside a car, a simple activation of “go outside” symbol will instruct the agent to get out of wherever he or she is located.
There will be different sets of symbols for outdoor and indoor environments. The outdoor set will at least include desired mode of transportation (by foot, wheels, rails or water). The indoor set will contain at least the following symbols: elevator, escalator, stairs and purchasing.
Here is an example of Teleportation Agent’s view that is following orders from the controlling customer. Agent ended up in the road nearby a nuclear power plant. Customer wants the agent to move towards the power plant (signified by arrow in the standard symbol set) and to get a ride (signified by the car and bus symbols in the outdoor symbol set). Because the agent does not have his own car in this case, he/she will probably have to hitch a ride.
Free view and view aligning
Additionally, if none of the symbols represent the desired actions, the customer will be able to activate many additional symbols that would signify the required action. And if that is still not enough, customer is able to type in the request, but most importantly to draw the desired action right on the HUD of the Teleportation Agent. This is possible thanks to an option in the customer’s interface that aligns the view of the customer and the agent. See, the very important aspect of moving around is that we need to be able to look around. We want to see what we want to see right away, and not wait for somebody to turn their heads. This is why the installed video cameras will respond only to the customer’s commands, and will be able to move in any direction required, without the Teleportation Agent interfering. In the first phase the free view will be implemented using mouse look or joystick look. After teleportation as a service will be able to have its own set top box (STB), the controls will be precisely tailored to achieve the best effect. But for now, teleporting customer will be able to look anywhere just by moving a mouse. These movements will be digitally conveyed through the network and cameras installed on Teleportation Agent’s hat will move according to these movements. Therefore the customer’s and Teleportation Agent’s views can be completely different, and “forward” for the customer’s view could be left for the agent’s view. To correct this, a positioning system will be implemented, that will monitor the camera rotation relative to the mounting point on the hat, and before any directional command is displayed on the agent’s HUD, the direction will be corrected according to current camera position. Therefore forward will always be forward, and left will always be left.
In the more expensive systems, gyroscopes will be implemented to maintain camera direction irrelevant of agent’s head orientation. Gyroscopes also stabilize the cameras and enable very effective use of the zoom. At first, cameras will not have 360 degrees freedom of movement, but single ball bearing design will ensure adequate freedom even for very demanding customers.
As previously mentioned, the customers will be able to draw desired actions right on the agent’s HUD. This will be enabled using view aligning. When customer presses “Align View” button on his or her interface, the camera will return to the default position, aligned with the hat. Because the hat is attached to the head, and so are the personal media viewer goggles that project the HUD, the customer’s view and the agent’s view will be exactly the same. Then the customer can draw the complicated instructions right on the agent’s HUD. In the following example the customer has teleported into Romania and by wondering around got to the uninhabited house. The customer wants the agent to climb on the roof in the certain point. By simply aligning the view and drawing the desired action, the agent understands exactly what is desired.
Financing and payments
No doubt that during the service usage, there will be expenses incurred that the agent will have to cover. For this purpose there will be a special payment system. One is for petty cash, where a small amount of cash will be available to the agent for public transport, food and drinks. This amount will be dependent on the length of teleportation and mode of transportation used by the agent, and will be deducted from the customer’s account. Another system will be in form of credit cards. If, for example, a teleported customer wants to buy a certain item of significant value (larger than half of the agent’s petty cash), the transaction will need to be first confirmed by the system. Agent will enter the amount on the special pad and a small popup window will appear on the customer screen asking to confirm the transaction. By clicking just one button the information will be processed and the customer’s credit card (or other type of payment card) will be debited for that amount. This amount will be credited to the current “Teleportation Session ID”, and will be available for use by an agent. If the amount was accepted and processed, a check box symbol will be displayed on the agent’s HUD, and he/she will proceed with the purchase. For this type of purchase the agent will use a company credit card that will be tied to the “Teleportation Session ID”. Because it was credited by the transaction beforehand, the amount will be available for payment, and payment will be processed just like any other payment card transaction. The store clerks will not notice anything except weird hat and the cool goggles of the agent.
Two types of services will be on offer, an Active service and a Ghost service. Active service will involve a Teleportation Agent following the customer’s directions. The customer will log in and select a location on the world map where he or she wants to teleport today. (A greeting “Where do you want to teleport today?” can be used). The map will actively display all the available Teleportation Agents in the field that are returning to their base offices from previous teleporting customers, as well as Teleportation Offices around the globe. All offices will follow a type of simple franchise and employ an active workforce, who are capable of walking, hiking, and generally getting around. College students would make good employees as well.
Ghost service will be completely different. It will allow only free view and will not have any other interactivity. For a monthly fee anybody can become an employee in the area, by coming into Teleportation Office and signing the contract. Some requirements can be implemented to make business model more predictable. One of them could be an active lifestyle, meaning that the person needs to spend most of their day in motion, eliminating a large group of cubicle workers from the same company coming in to sign up. After signing the contract, that person officially becomes Teleportation Ghost. He or she will receive a small special camera with built in microphone that can be controlled remotely to enable free view. They will carry this camera around all day long anywhere they go. The customer’s can teleport into ghosts any time they like and control the free view of the camera, looking around and hearing the sounds. Teleportation Ghosts will not be aware of teleporting customers because the camera will be sealed in a special container that does not enable to see if the camera is moving or not.
Let’s say a working father wants to send a post card to his wife from Paris, and then also buy a special perfume that is sold only at the certain store nearby Eiffel tower, and not anywhere else. But he cannot afford money nor time to travel such distances just for that. So he uses teleportation. Logs into his panel and the world map is displayed. No active teleportation agents are displayed on the field, so he clicks on the office closest to the Eiffel tower in Paris. A countdown timer begins informing him of time remaining before teleportation will occur. 1 minute 15 seconds to go. “Damn” he thinks, “Not even enough time to get a cup of coffee”. So he at least goes to the fridge and has a refreshing coke before his teleportation trip. Just after he gets back the HD video transmitted via high speed 3G network is already up and the Teleportation Agent is standing awaiting specific actions. The father does not want to spend too much time walking around, but he also doesn’t want to miss what he wants by running. So he selects medium speed.
Medium speed symbol immediately appears on the Agent’s HUD, so he knows the he shouldn’t be slowly walking around. The arrows start to appear on the Agent’s HUD and he starts energetically walking according to the displayed directions. This is teleportation, not a taxi, so the father has to look through Paris guides and Paris maps to find his way around, to get where he wants to be at. The father cheated a little bit and switched back and forth between online maps and Teleportation Service, and also activated a GPS locator, so the service reported the exact position of the agent. Sure, it wouldn’t be much fun activating this locator and switching back and forth between the screens while discovering some ancient city, but he just wants to buy perfume and a post card, so it’s his thing and we shouldn’t judge him for that. After about 15 minutes he finally gets to the bus stop and waits for the bus number 87. On the bus he stays closer to the door and listens to the announcer announcing the stations, hoping to hear his station where he is going. He wants to get out at Champ de Mars. But looking around out of the window he forgot himself in the midst of Paris landscape, and just then he saw the Eiffel tower. This was his cue to get off, and actually it was the terminal station anyway – everybody was getting off. So he got out… I mean, Teleportation Agent got out, but the father instructed him to, and he went towards the Eiffel. He proceeded to a nearby kiosk and started to look through the post cards. He instructed teleportation agent to crouch using the special symbol and went though still more postcards. After he finally decided which one he wants to buy, he aligned the view and circled the wanted postcard right on the Agent’s HUD. Father hen activated the “$” symbol meaning he wanted to buy that. Postcard is cheap, so it’ll go out of the petty cash. Father also typed out “+ two post stamps” that was automatically translated to “+ deux timbres-poste” and appeared on the agent’s HUD. The agent paid and the father started walking towards that special store with the special perfume. There again he circled exactly the perfume he wanted on the agent’s HUD and proceeded with the payment using the credit card, since that perfume was quite expensive. Father proceeded to the nearest post office, where he activated a “put inside the box symbol”.
Father then clicked on the button “Send to Address” which enabled him to select an address where he wants to send the items. He also checked the box “All items to this address” and to make sure the Teleportation Agent understood that he wants to send the post card as well, he additionally activated the Post Stamp symbol. Address information appeared on the agent’s HUD screen and he filled in this information to the post card and on the box that he got at the post office. He proceeded to the counter and mailed the box, paying using the company payment card, which in turn deducted the amount from the father’s account.
Content with the teleportation, father clicked the “Teleport Back” button that disconnected him from the Teleportation Agent. A rating system asked the father to rate his teleportation experience, which he highly rated using five stars. Just then the wife got back home with kids, noticing that the father is a bit startled to see her, not knowing that he just teleported back from Paris to home and her sudden appearance brought too many feelings at once. “What where you doing honey?” she suspiciously asked, looking around for signs of mischief. “Oh, I teleported back home from France just as you were entering, so I was a bit startled”. The wife said nothing, but was very happy when she got the Post Card and the perfume just in time for Christmas.
Teleportation as a service enables anyone to teleport anywhere on the planet, where a teleportation office, a teleportation agent, or a teleportation ghost is located. Central command center will evaluate offices performance and distribute equipment to them and to the freelance employees. Business models allow for fair distribution, charging per time the service is used and maybe per action difficulty. Additional systems provide additional freedoms to teleported customer, while basic freedoms of view and movement are always available to any teleported customers.