Have you noticed it? Technology is advancing at breakneck speeds. Moore’s Law, the famous theory that states computing power doubles every 18 months, has changed the world. Every time you turn around they are coming out with a new smartphone, a new smart TV, a new smart fridge. Futuristic concepts and designs and products that are here to make our lives easier, happier, more complete. It won’t be long before we see driverless cars. And flying cars probably aren’t far behind. Watercraft design is no different. Though futuristic concepts for incredible watercraft are nothing new (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was written by Jules Vern in 1870), with the advancements in science and tech lately, some designs are becoming more and more feasible. At this rate, you might be seeing these amazing vessels in the near future.
Chinese Sonic Submarine
Want to travel from San Francisco to Shanghai in less than two hours underwater? Chinese researchers are confident they have come up with a design for a new submarine that can do just that. The Sonic Sub is a completely new design in submerged vessels. Normal subs propel themselves through the water, creating drag that restricts its speed. The Sonic Sub, based on Soviet Cold War technology, creates a bubble of air around itself in a process known as supercavitation. The technology is still being tested, but when completed, the Chinese say the Sonic Sub will cruise at speeds in excess of 3600 miles per hour. Look out for whales!
We divers already know about underwater propulsion devices. Sea scooters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the Nereus is different. Fusing the concept of the sea scooter with a jet ski, the Nereus looks like the Green Goblin’s glider, which is a good thing. Right now it’s in the conceptual phase, but if you were lucky enough to get your hands on one, it would allow you to cruise on the water’s surface and dive for short distances. You go from a swimming to a diving position through the use of intuitive controls and movements of the upper body. Steering would be through the footrests which are connected to the back rudder.
EXO Electric Watercraft
Another JetSki/personal watercraft-type machine, the Exo electric watercraft was first unveiled by EXOCONCEPT at the Cannes Boat Show 2011. All electric, the Eco delivers environmentally friendly sporting fun and can be operated without a license. After 2 years of research and development, the manufacturer says it has designed Exo using the highest performance technology, with the latest generation of high capacity batteries. Because the Exo maxes out at about 30 miles per hour, it is the ideal craft for yacht owners or recreational users who want a relaxing, energy-efficient tour of the lake or water parks.
Now we’re getting really Sci-Fi. Ever seen the Invasion of the Body Snatchers? The Fiorella looks like an oversized pod right out of that cult classic horror film. But this watercraft is anything but a horror. The intricate, flower inspired design upon first glance resembles a giant Faberge egg. However, when the petals come down on the sides, the interior cabin appears. With a subaquatic 360 degree view, convertible sofa-beds, and topside deck, the Fiorella isn’t so much a boat as it is a navigable floating campsite.
Tropical Island Paradise
Yacht Island Design is quite an innovative company with an indelible vision for the future of seafaring. Through their efforts at dreaming up concepts that are truly outside of the conventional modes of maritime construction, Yacht Island Designs has come up with the idea for a new type of watercraft, the, you guessed it, Yacht Island. From the Streets of Monaco (an aircraft carrier sized ship with a Mediterranean Village complete with the famous Grand Prix track) to the Tropical Island Paradise (a ship customized to resemble a South Pacific atoll with a volcano and flowing river) to the Project Utopia (a massive, four-pronged vessel that turns the idea of ship design on its ear) the company prides itself on what it calls, “an avant-garde vision of a future concept free from restricted thought.”
Sources: dailymail.co.uk | webdesignerdepot.com|psipunk.com | gizmag.com | yankodesign.com | yachtislanddesign.com