Highspeed capsule is more than hype

From Sir James Dyson.

Sir, What is most refreshing about Elon Musk’s latest ambition is that others have been inspired by it (“Vanity or visionary”, Analysis, August 14). Rather than technology pages filled with the next app or digital platform, people are excited about grand, tangible engineering visions. For once, digital entrepreneurs are providing passion, bold ideas and financial backing to spur on new, physical, technology – where the real strides are to be made.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel experimented with vacuum-propelled train carriages in 1840 and Whitcomb L Judson, inventor of the zip, held six patents for a railway running on compressed air in 1890. Unfortunately for them, science was not able to turn their theory into reality. Since then we have developed super materials and discovered new ways of harvesting energy. It may just be the case that we now have the technology, backing and resources needed to make the impossible possible.

I hope the Hyperloop is more than a fanciful stunt. Mr Musk has the track record to suggest it will be more. Either way, it will draw some children away from their games consoles and digital realities and into the exciting science fact of solving the world’s biggest problems through technology.

James Dyson, Founder and Chairman, Dyson, Malmesbury, Wilts, UK

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.