Innovations that have Made Life Easier for Travellers

“To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen

In the yesteryears, the tourist used to go through a lot of hectic processes in order to travel a place which they desired to explore. With no internet connectivity, people use to stand in line for hours in order to book their tickets for respective places. Once reaching there, they would again be in a dilemma regarding the hotels and restaurants. This was not only time consuming but people also found their vacations rather tiring.

Then entered an era of internet and it changed everything for travellers. All the tiring processes which people used to go through were made simple, smooth and available at their fingertips. People started booking bus/train/air tickets as well as hotel rooms and restaurant table bookings online. The fear of not getting travel tickets or hotel rooms disappeared. Various online platforms used to deliver information like different means of travel and relative prices, hotel room availability along with facilities, the nearby restaurants to the online users were available. These platforms not only provided them with the information but also helped them to do bookings and respective transactions in order to confirm bookings with small charges included for their services.

Source: Travelingboard

The Internet has helped travellers and tourists in many ways. Companies like Google, Bing, and Wikipedia help people gather knowledge and information as per their interest. The internet has helped tourists to plan their vacations in the most effective ways and at low cost. Earlier people used to buy maps of the country in order to plan the places they will be visiting and were unsure about the cost which they were likely to spend on the tour. But now, with many tours and travels online booking sites and physical offices, people find it much convenient for bookings and experience hassle-free vacations whenever and wherever they go.

Source: Google

People have started blogging about their travel journeys by sharing information about various places they have visited in order to help other co-travellers. Apps like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other socialising sites help people to share pictures, information and upload videos – both live and pre-recorded.

Source: YouTube

As we are living in the era of digitalization, a lot of innovative products are in the market which helps the tourists and travellers to travel around the world quickly, safely and comfortably. In order to overcome the language barriers, Duolingo which is a well-designed app helps people to learn new languages with fun and experience. Google translate assists in knowing day-to-day words in different languages and helps to translate any sign or menu. The Pilot, a pair of small cordless earbuds, is one of the innovative product which translates conversations in real time from a foreign language to your native language.

Source: ExtremeTech

During travelling, distance and time are much information needed for any traveller. This problem is solved by Google maps and other supporting apps such as Citymapper. Google maps provide time-distance information depending on the means of transportation like by car or bus/train or by walk. Also about public transports like buses and trains, the details are displayed along with the traffic congestions on the roads.

Source: Wikipedia

For staying purposes, online apps and websites like Airbnb, OYO, Trivago, Goibibo, etc. have provided good services and facilities with competitive prices. The sharing economy is a boom and the companies like Uber and Ola are helping travellers to reach their destination at an affordable cost. After the bullet metro trains, Hyperloop, the future of transportation, is going to change the way of travelling by minimizing the time required for long distances along with cosy experience.

Source: Euronews

Technology is evolving at a great pace and innovations like Virtual reality and Augmented reality is changing the way of looking at things. After wearing VR Goggles, an exciting experience can be achieved by the person who is looking at the world through it. But it’s still not clear whether it will also replace travelling. However, we definitely realize that high-quality photographs and video recordings are vital with regards to choosing where we need to travel, stay, or eat and VR will just enhance that experience.

Source: Amazon

The feeling of resfeber has virtually disappeared due to innovation in the travel industry. So what do you think will be the future of travelling and the travel industry? Leave the comment below and share your opinions and views as every opinion matters.

Read More

Myths surrounding eligibility of software patents

The confusion surrounding the fate of computer implemented inventions are primarily due to lower courts flagrant non-adherence to Supreme Courts directions and misconceived notions around suitability of computer implemented inventions for patent protection. As much we would like to agree that these are mere by product of inflammatory rhetoric and unscientific and unreliable studies. This blog highlights the premise which leads us to believe so.

Computer technology has been one of the greatest technological innovations of this age and undoubtedly deserves protection from free-riding and illegal reproduction. The primary reason why such patents (especially in the realm of AI and blockchain) are facing such opposition and unfortunate discrimination is the sheer lack of information and expertise required to deal in prosecution of this advanced technology.

Don’t believe us?? Let’s hear out Judge Posner on his views on why computer implemented inventions are inefficient and improper:

“a shortage of patent examiners with the requisite technical skills, the limited technical competence of judges and jurors, the difficulty of assessing damages for infringement of a component rather than a complete product, and the instability of the software industry because of its technological dynamism.”[1]

His Majesty cites pharmaceutical industry as a perfect industry for which patent system works and in his words “pharmaceuticals are the poster child for the patent system”.  He further adds that

“Software innovation tends to be piecemeal — not entire devices, but components, so that a software device (a cellphone, a tablet, a laptop, etc.) may have tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of separate components (bits of software code or bits of hardware), each one arguably patentable. The result is huge patent thickets, creating rich opportunities for trying to hamstring competitors by suing for infringement — and also for infringing, and then challenging the validity of the patent when the patentee sues you.”

I am still wondering about the argument made by his lordship on the piecemeal approach of software innovation, as if I could have patented a whole car in the automobile industry or for that matter a Robot ☹ Every invention is incremental in nature and there are few disruptions and primarily disruptions relate to discovery of scientific principles. Innovations are always a manifestation of those scientific principles and hence deserve protection for the ingenuity of implementation in a way useful for the society.

Let’s get back in time to understand the irony in Judge Posner’s statement. Judge Posner believes pharmaceutical industry to be best fit for patent protection as per his understanding and software being a misfit.  The brilliant Judge Learned Hand, also one of Judge Posner’s jurisprudential heroes, complained of his lack of technical expertise in deciding the new biochemical patents that would in a few decades give birth to the modern pharmaceutical industry. In his famous opinion in Parke-Davis & Co. v. H.K. Mulford & Co., Judge Hand called

“attention to the extraordinary condition of the law which makes it possible for a man without any knowledge of even the rudiments of chemistry to pass upon such questions as these. The inordinate expense of time is the least of the resulting evils, for only a trained chemist is really capable of passing upon such facts.”

Judge Hand lamented the “confusion the intricacy of the subject-matter causes” and that judges like him were “blindly groping among testimony upon matters wholly out of their ken.”

This clearly explains that the whole era of confusion and negativity built around protection of computer implemented invention is not due to the fact that such inventions are not suitable for patent protections but due to misguided, reductionist logic common to econometricians and a lack of understanding of complex inventions that requires immense intellectual labour and perseverance. Based on the above example, we might find computer implemented inventions being touted as the best fit for patent protection somewhere around 2060s and space travel being designated as abstract ideas and misfit for patent protection.

God help Innovation.

Read More