If you could be anywhere in an instant, where would you go?
Today? Tomorrow? Next month? Next hour?
The technology of human teleportation has been perfected at 100.0% success rate and the public has accepted its daily use. Teleportation is operated inside Teleportals, with an exterior not unlike the iconic red telephone booths that were once the landmarks of Great Britain. They are located every few blocks and cover the inhabited world.
Welcome to the Year 3000 on planet Earth.
What took so long, you ask? Well, the technology has existed for quite a while. In fact, they’ve been in the public consciousness for some considerable amount of time, too. But invention was only the first step in what was a long journey toward public adoption. Big Transportation lobby, composed of concerned owners and businesspeople, with help from an assortment of industries including entertainment, energy, intelligence and defense community, and restaurants, successfully thwarted policy changes. Then World War III wiped out much progress and the new generations started over again. Gradually, laws and regulations have been put into place, Teleportals mass produced, the public opinion shifted, and we are at today.
Without further ado, let’s get you acquainted with the beloved Teleportals.
Location & Layout
Residency & Citizenship
Entertainment & Vacations
As it was previously understood in the second millenium, there are two ways teleportation could occur: 1) physical deconstruction at origin and reconstitution at destination, 2) translation of a person into data to be transmitted then reconverted into matter, akin to an organic fax machine. Teleportals use the latter, keeping identities in tact as the original being is preserved. Teleportals also recognize and handle all elements on the periodic table, thus making transmittals possible.
Each Teleportal is either inbound (receiving) or outbound (sending) and labeled on the exterior. The traveling party is first scanned at the departing portal for identity and security. Once cleared, the person may input destination. The person’s particles are transmitted at the speed of light where time is irrelevant, and they arrive at the receiving Teleportal. The entire process takes less than 10 seconds. In order to access the Teleportal, there sometimes are high demand which result in waiting lines. Thankfully, there are plenty of Teleportals in urban areas and are placed strategically to address density of usage.
There is a fee for each Teleportal use and the absolute amount is equivalent in different currencies. During the scanning process at outbound, the person’s identity is scanned and the fee will be deducted from linked financial account. Each person has a “grace travel” of one teleportation when there is insufficient fund. Until the account has been replenished, that person will not be allowed additional travel.
Teleportals draw from 2 sources of energy: stored and thermal. Due to high peak usage, they are not connected to other energy sources to prevent blackouts. Energy transmission via the Teleportal itself was considered, but due to constant usage, it would compete with the functionality of transporting people. Stored energy in the form of a battery powers the transmissions and it is replaced whenever it runs low. Additionally, Teleportals also draw thermal energy from the traveling bodies during the initial scanning process to power the scan and display system, which is on at all times. A person may feel a few degrees colder as a result.
All Teleportals are one-way and located in public spaces. They all have user-friendly interfaces displayed on the interior walls. Users are able to type in or voice over destinations in any language. There are 3 types of Teleportals and each type can only transmit to its own type.
Regular (80%): They are small and has 1 square meter of interior usable space, allowing for a single adult with one accompanying minor and a pet. They are placed on ground-level streets, and look just like a telephone booth from the old days but have a handicap button for accessibility. Some are placed near attractions such as markets, venues, and stations. They are most often used by locals and individual travelers.
XL (16%): These are larger and allow for the teleportation of a group of people at once. They range in different sizes and are most popular with big families, student groups, and tourists. They are usually located in city centers and near institutions such as universities and landmarks. Excitements and different languages can often be heard from these.
Special (4%): The only indoors kind and located in public buildings such as government offices, embassies, and agencies. They are outfitted with upgraded scanners that are particularly sensitive to metals, chemicals, and anything that may resemble weaponry. Outright weapons will result in the party’s travel request being declined. For anything that the portal raises a flag, further clarification will be prompted from the traveling party. The receiving portal will be notified of the declarations and will let relevant personnel know. Thus, the special portal often takes longer than the regular and XL. Government employees and diplomats are the most common users of Special Teleportals.
If someone is wanted for a crime from any region, Teleportals would deny the party’s travel attempt. It will not take further actions.
If someone is carrying a contagious disease that is capable of causing an epidemic, Teleportals will let the individual know and send information on medical resources, then deny the request. The exception is travel to hospitals and other medical facilities.
Explicit weapons will result in the denial of travel
All Teleportals are inherently trackable and visible on digital maps. This means that individuals could not steal and store them in a desired location without being found out. Although technologies to turn off the tracking signal could be developed.
All Teleportals are located on Earth. Humans have yet to grasp the technology beyond the lithosphere.
There is Teleportal traffic during peak business hours for commuters as most are single occupancy.
Climate change in the forms of rising sea levels and increased frequency of natural disasters has redefined the coastlines of Earth and shifted urban centers inland. Still, the majority of world population congregates in major cities and large towns, while fewer remain in rural areas.
This is a result from when Teleportals was first rolled out, it was mapped to population density and favored cities. That design led to more people migrating to cities to experience a more cosmopolitan lifestyle. While rural areas have the occasional Teleportal, more primitive transportation methods are needed to get to select locations. Major cities of the third millennium are on par with megacities of the second millennium. With vertical density at a peak with new constructions, cities could fit in more people with less footprint.
Global demographics now trend toward a longer living population. With advances in genetic engineering, food, healthcare, and a better environment as a result of using renewable energy, humans are expected to live past 100 on average and some have broken the 150-year age horizon.
Improvements in fertility services mean that families can choose to have children much later in life, increasing flexibility and adding fluidity to the definition of a family. Over time, this meant a slower birth and death rate that more or less balance each other out. On average, families trend at 2 children per household, stabilizing the current population. Polyamory, multiple marriages during lifetime, and mixed-race families are the norm.
With unprecedented travel and contact between groups who were not acquainted with one another, global epidemics have become more prevalent. Two methods have arisen in response. The first is the creation of public medical scanners that could detect illness. They are installed inside Teleportals as well as in public spaces. When scanned, whether at a portal or a stadium, they will alert the person of any contagious illness in a discreet manner. Teleportals will deny the travel request to anywhere that’s not a medical facility. Other scanners can be set to custom strictness to respond to any emerging epidemics.
The second is the rise of global vaccination on diseases not native or previously prevalent in the area. Children and adults both have a broader set of basic vaccination, and annual additions are administered based on needs. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor disease flow and advise on vaccination and containment.
Peak Oil came and went in the early second millennium. With oil supply largely depleted and disrupted by World War III, alternative energy supplies have matured in the meantime. Currently, energy is mostly generated from geothermal, solar, wind, and tidal sources. Solar panels cover the Sahara, Arabian, and Great Victoria desert, in addition to the Great Basin. Coastlines are lined with windmills and tidal energy converters. While still in use at a couple of locations, nuclear energy largely fell out of favor in the aftermath of World War III and in the midst of increasingly frequent natural disasters.
The technology of teleportation was perfected in labs and then first commercialized by a single corporation which filed for patent. When that patent expired, the technology was quickly taken up by other companies and soon became part of governmental usage due to restrictions on commercial use. As policy slowly shifted to include rules and regulations on public use, the adoption of a single international standard followed to allow for cross-border travel.
Nowadays, the technology of teleportation continues to be closely guarded by government entities and the regulating international body, International Teleportation Authority (ITA). ITA regulates for the scanning process and monitors the overall “wanted” list to make sure that the list is updated in Teleportals and those people could not teleport. They are not, however, notified by Teleportals in the case that someone on the list attempts to travel. ITA also employs a group of scientists to calibrate the Teleportals and check periodically for quality control.
Nation states still govern political affairs although the landscape shifted post World War III, where mutually assured destruction did not prevent mass casualty. The bifurcation of cities and rural areas meant that countries catered to its population and economic centers more so than before. Cities, as a result, have more independence and influence on policies. International politics remain the tug-of-war between centralized planning and grassroot movements. As residency becomes more mobile and fluid, there is increased international collaboration on migration patterns to accommodate the needs of residents.
Due to high mobility around the world, there is strengthened security most commonly in forms of ultra-high resolution cameras and scanners. Cameras are installed in public spaces and most often seen on the streets. Body scanners are installed at institutions that provides a host of information including: financial account for admission fees, medical status for contagiousness, identity tracking for future advertisement possibilities, etc.
Roads still exist and are typically two-lane each way, the inner lane for vehicles and the outer lane for pedestrians.
Vehicle traffic is sparse, reserved for those who still hold nostalgic value for automobiles as they slowly phased out in the past millennium. Vehicles do not touch the ground - in fact, their bottoms are flat - they hover just a bit above ground to ensure a smooth ride for passengers and uses maximally efficient energy. Nowadays, automobiles are a collector’s item and anyone who drives a functioning hover car could also rattle off ten ways the world centuries ago was more wholesome. Once in a while, you’d see a mobile home float by. Nomads, as they are called, prefer to experience the full journey as they travel from place to place with no particular tie to a permanent residence.
Pedestrian traffic is a more lively scene of hoverboards and foot traffic. It is also the wider lane. The line that separates the two traffic lanes uses magnets to make sure vehicles stay in lane and there is no chance of cross-lane collision. The outside borders of roads are adorned with a green barrier, usually with trees, that absorbs noise so that there is minimal negative externality.
Railroads are a channel of entertainment as passengers take in nature that is more abundant in the countryside than urban centers. Hover trains are often designed in the old fashions of the second millennium and operate at a slow speed (by modern standards!). Artists tend to flock to trains for a place of uninterrupted musing. Families also spend time on trains during their vacations.
The skies are a lot quieter in the absence of planes, which phased out on a similar schedule as the automobiles. Freight are now transported by Object Teleportals and passengers are no longer drawn to the idea of being stuck in an expensive small seat in a metal box for more than a minute. However, in place of planes, there are floaters - personal-sized successors of blimps - that can travel vertically and over a distance for entertainment and viewing.
While inhabited land has been adorned with Teleportals, the vast areas of the oceans have not been fortunate enough to receive the same treatment. Cargo shipping is nonexistent, but fishing activities are still busy on the high seas. In addition, subsea vehicles are advanced enough to live out the once-fictional story of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. The moment humans establish a formal settlement underwater, there will be a Teleportal installed. But right now, oceans remain uninhabited. Rivers are cleaner and is home to more fish now that shipping as an industry is a relic of time. Boats and yacht pods are still in operation by adventurers.
Residency is more fluid than ever before. While the majority of people choose to stay in one place as their home for quite some time - after all, they could just teleport as they please for vacations - a portion lead a nomadic life, desiring to fully immerse in different ways of living.
Proof of citizenship is required to be involved in the political process, to receive government benefits, or to access public institutions. Citizenship is granted after a quick process of background check, which is conducive to the increased mobility of population.
After experimenting with second millennium fads of work from home and work from anywhere, the finding was that the rise of remote work did not result in more productivity. Face-to-face interactions and team meetings are found to drive productivity and create innovation. With the use of Teleportals, commuting is no longer a concern and expert teams could arrive at a moment’s notice. As a result, more people work in offices than otherwise. Offices also look different - a more cosmopolitan appeal with design elements incorporated from other cultures and often adorned with plants not native to the climate.
Many types of mental work such as accounting, legal counseling, and health check ups are now supplemented by robots and AI. There is a rise in the class of engineers who build these machines that adapt to each individual user. Physical work such as construction and agriculture have seen more replacements by machines that faithfully follow the human design. There is also a rise in the number of staff who perform routine quality check on Teleportals. Object Teleportals that deliver items are also checked on periodically to ensure quality.
Currency is fully digitized in the third millennium, with cryptocurrency flourishing for anonymous payments. Each person has a centralized financial account that is the primary linked account, where payments for goods and services are deducted automatically. When a person visits a physical store, there is no need to wait to pay for the items. The store cameras monitor for the merchandise bought and deduct prices from the primary account once the customer leaves the shop.
There is still no common global currency, but exchange rates are automatic in one’s account, eliminating arbitrage by different brokers.
The adoption of Teleportals had vast implications for the entertainment and tourism industries.
The technology heavily undercut the influence of large travel planning companies, since getting to places is no longer a constraint.
Global attractions have garnered many more visitors, who no longer need to save up for travel costs or decide between different trips.
Hotels and accommodations saw a steep increase in prices because while travelers could go back home for the night, many opt to stay in the area thanks to the saving on travel costs.
Restaurants and eateries use digital menus that could translate to all languages so that foreign visitors could easily access.
Admission tickets to attractions and events have also gone up in price and some venues have instituted maximal visitor limit in order to regulate traffic. Venues have also been upgraded into bigger sizes to house the inflow of customers.
The third millennium features more diverse protein options including insects, lab-grown meat, aquaculture, and genetically engineered vegetables. When someone is not using Teleportals to sample authentic global cuisines, food can be easily ordered digitally and delivered to the front door. Each residence has the option to be fitted with an inbound and an outbound Object Teleportal. They are the delivery and return receptors for any digital orders including grocery, pharmacy, clothing, and everything else tangible.
Education is more decentralized than ever before, as students no longer feel the need to go to top schools in order to attain a world class education. Success is measured by interactive aptitude tests on IQ and EQ. Memorization is no longer a requirement, but being able to innovate and think differently are highly prized skills.
Primary education incorporates visitation to different regions to experience and learn about the history and culture. Live demonstrations can take place in high-tech labs in front of an audience of teenagers who are lucky enough to be scheduled that day.
International tutors can house-visit their students whenever convenient and conduct in-person lessons.
Higher education utilizes online broadcasts for when there is more demand than seats in the classroom.
Study abroad is also an integral part of curriculum and language studies receive newly elevated status.
Personal struggles with not getting to a place in an instant
Doctor Who / TARDIS