Data mining by online merchants isn't just so Overstock.com can offer to sell you the same product you just purchased on Amazon. It has the power to make all our lives better! Orbitz, which makes online reservations for hotels and such, figured out that Mac and Windows users have different purchasing habits--and adjusted accordingly.
If you're wondering what new skills you should learn this summer, and you live in or are comfortable moving to Milan, maybe you should check out Susmita Mohanty's class at Domas Academy entitled "Products and Microenvironments for Orbiting Hotels." Mohanty is an "aerospace entrepreneur" and has worked on the International Space Station and the Shuttle-Mir missions, so she seems like a good choice to teach a class on designing products to allow for a comfortable stay for orbiting tourists.
Once again, Popular Science celebrates the eternal human urge to go bigger! Better! Stronger! Meet three innovations with the need to exceed.
Bigger: A Park in the Sky
When architect Moshe Safdie was designing a hotel in Singapore, he ran out of ground space for a planned park. But there was plenty of air, so he drew up the three-acre garden connecting the 57th story of the hotel's three towers. He wasn't finished, though. Then he built the crowning piece of the Sky Park: an observation deck extending 218 feet from the hotel's roof—the world's largest cantilever.
Bored guests at a certain Crowne Plaza hotel can now skip the pricey mini-bar and hop on an exercise bike, generate some electricity, and earn some meal vouchers. The hotel in Copenhagen started the free meal idea as a way to boost guests' fitness and shrink their carbon footprint, according to the BBC.
Phileas Fogg may have hopped aboard hot air balloons, trains, and elephants in his race around the world in 80 days, but future airship passengers need only step aboard the Aircruise for a far shorter and more luxurious travel experience. The 2015 concept for a sky hotel comes courtesy of London designers Seymourpowell, and a commission from Samsung Construction and Trading to make the vision come to life before our eyes in a series of stunning visuals.