Back in the good old days, we were promised that the future (ie, now) would be full of such wonderful devices as flying cars, hoverboards and jetpacks.
And apart from Sean Connery’s James Bond donning one in Thunderball, the jetpack has remained firmly in the realm of research, military or space use – they are still a long way from replacing the car as a personal transport device.
Now it seems that the researchers at Google’s secretive X laboratory did look into developing a personal jetpack.
Stuff reports that Google X head Astro Teller revealed this week that the lab worked for some time on a wearable device, the aim being to create a safe personal jetpack.
The report says that the project was ditched because of issues with power efficiency, with Teller claiming that the finished jetpack would have been as loud as a motorcycle.
In a talk at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York on Tuesday, Teller said that Google X rejected about 100 prototypes a year and that the lab’s purpose was to uncover and develop technology suitable for personal, everyday use.
He said that the hope was to build a wearable personal traveling device that “wasn’t a death trap”.
As well as Glass, the lab had also been responsible for Google’s driverless cars, Project Loon – which uses high-flying balloons to spread internet access – and Google Contact Lens, a lens able to measure blood sugar levels in diabetic wearers.
It seems that, for the time being, the only person we’ll see zooming through the skies with a jetpack is Bond. James Bond.