Beam me up, Chambers

So we're now a scant five years behind the events portrayed in Back to the Future II, and neither the flying car nor the hoverboard are yet ubiquitous technology.

Yet according to research conducted by Cisco, the British public is one step ahead of the boffins, and a little over 30% of us are looking forward to the advent of teleportation technology* in the not-too-distant future.

The recent 'Connected Conversations' survey quizzed 2,000 average Joes and Janes, and found that although Britons are remarkably technology-savvy, their expectations were actually lagging behind reality.

For example, 69% said we will be able to pay for parking meters on our mobiles by 2012, 52% looked forward to HD video consultations with their GPs by 2018, while 51% fancied a network-enabled fridge that orders groceries when you run low, and thought it would be a reality by 2015.

Needless to say, these technologies are all available, and in use, today, so just maybe teleportation isn't as far-fetched as the physicists would have us believe.

Said Cisco's UK and Ireland VP and CEO, Phil Smith: "In the last 25 years, access to the latest technology has moved from being a closed specialism for the knowledgeable few to become an open and collaborative fabric of modern society.

"As such, tech-savvy consumers have wrenched control away from the organisational IT departmenrs and are now shaping the future development of technology in British society."

Smith did not say what a teleportation device would mean for the future of Cisco's TelePresence video-conferencing suites, but I think the ability to step into a booth in the office and step out moments later at Cisco HQ in Bedfont for your quarterly catch-up would be welcome.

Nothing beats a genuine face-to-face meeting, after all, and it also means you don't have to drive to bloody Bedfont.

I can see Cisco taking to this like a duck to water.

It occurs to me that a teleportation device would also be a great way to combat the grey market; Cisco could simply invite a reseller to a teleport conference and then 'accidentally' set the co-ordinates for, say, the Gobi Desert. Problem solved.

* To be a little more realistic, 69% said we would never be able to teleport.

This was first published in July 2010

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