Pipes are essential to the movement of material and substances in our homes and to businesses. This transfer can be of solids, liquids or gases. But what about people? We might need to have a set of really big Pipe protectors if we are going to do that but for the people of the thirty first century in Futurama this is a complete reality. How does this system work? And is it ever possible?
Setting aside the fact that Futurama is a cartoon comedy show from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and his writing partner David X Cohen. The travel tubes are just one of many jokes about the claims of modernity. “In the exciting future of 2020 people will be travelling to work in pneumatic tubes!” sounds like something written in the 1930’s and Groening’s work is all about having a laugh at the optimism shown in this.
The process is that you step into a tube and are pushed along by an invisible force. As with alot of science fiction the technology is never explained so we have to use a considerable amount of disbelief. How this force that pushes and pulls us through the tube works is the first point that needs to be addressed otherwise being smashing into the end of the tube at high speed seems a distinct possibility.