Every trade show and conference is the same. They’ve all got long lineups for coffee between sessions, retirees bored with retirement, manning the registration desks and legions of middle management types trying to pick each other up (or apart) on the show floor. Last week’s Globe 2010 Biennial Trade Fair and Conference on Business and the Environment was no exception.
Billed as the “nexus for global networking and thought leadership on the business of the environment” the Globe Series plays host to executives from utility and energy industries who, along with executives from consumer product and retail industries, join forces to tell cubicle dwelling bean counters and bureaucrats from across the land, exactly what is up with all this “eco-stuff” and how to make a buck off it.
The trade show component was what one would expect from a three day convention. Booth after booth, shilling one ecologically sustainable process or another. Admittedly, the Germans, with their renewable energy industry in full swing, were able to confidently demonstrate the viability of many business models, from wind turbine manufacture, to nifty passive solar heating retrofits that supply residential developments with hot water. They also had these delicious chocolate chip cookies… But I digress.
The highlight of the day wasn’t some zero carbon footprint city in the desert, the awesome power of the Dust Destroyer or even the local Automotive X-Prize contender, for this hipster designer, the best part of the show was the Switchblade.
Tucked away in the nethers of Canada Place’s massive concrete and canvas showroom, was the little booth that could. Decorated with no more than a foam model, some VHS quality videos on an actual CRT TV and some custom posters, Samson Motors Incproudly presented their answer to the global transportation dilemma; a gleaming red, turbofan powered wedge, that would not only take you on your daily commute, but if you have a runway handy, could transform, via a set of flip out wings along the bottom, into the ultimate personal aircraft. Yes, good sir and little miss, this was a bona-fide flying car. I spoke briefly with Sam Bousfield, Samson Motors CEO, about his invention. According to Bousfield (and his brochure) the future of personal transportation will reduce traffic congestion by up to 8%, cut 50% off other commuter’s trip time AND use any combination of fuels including biodiesel. The Switchblade would be classified as a motorcycle when in earthbound “Drive” mode, but when you flip the switch and the two carbon-composite wings magically swing out from under the fuselage, just like that, it’s an experimental aircraft! Wow! Of course, the Switchblade is still in the prototype phase, and testing is set for late 2010, but that’s just a technicality. Anyone who has a long commute (a $65K deposit) and a pilot’s license can literally be a cut above the rest with the Switchblade. Seriously folks, the future of transportation is HERE!!!! RIGHT NOW!!! If I were you, I’d be racing to my local premium car dealership and plunking down that deposit, ’cause when this baby hits the streets / skies, it’s gonna be like the second coming of that guy…. you know the one with the beard and cross.