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A look at how travel tech has changed in 2016

Holidays are not about leaving everything behind. Consider these essentials, writes Rajiv Makhni.

brunch Updated: May 24, 2016 18:15 IST
Amazon Kindle Oasis,Travelteq,Go Girl

I hate doing lists. Best of, Top 5 this and Top 10 that. Listicles are the easy cop-out when a columnist is going through serious writer’s block. So, why am I doing what I hate? Well, I’ve done some insane travel in the last 20 days. And, I’ve realised that there is a typical list of things that I carry that help but don’t really enhance my time away from home.

Thus I’ve gone on a spree to find things that can really make a difference. With summer holidays on and almost everyone ready to put on their travel boots – here’s a look at how travel tech has changed in 2016.

Typical stuff we all carry

There is a typical tech travel checklist that almost all of us are now familiar with. A dual-sim phone with great battery life (Gionee Marathon M5), a really thin laptop with great battery life (Apple MacBook or Smartron t.Book), a fantastic camera that is still portable (Nikon D5500), a portable charger, good noise-cancellation headphones (Bose or Sennheiser), a Bluetooth speaker, extra chargers for all your devices, a universal plug adapter, a downloaded offline Google Map for the area you are going to and some apps (like Google Translator). Let’s take things to a new level.

An Egg

Nope, not that egg. This one is a life-saver for all your travel photographs and videos. Eggcyte automatically connects to your phone, sucks out all the photos and makes sure your phone memory is all squeaky clean and empty for your next session. Can be used to and fro for videos, songs and even documents. It’s super cleansing for your phone.

The Eggcyte sucks out all photos from your phone to create space for more.

Smart Suitcase

Two built-in USB charging stations will tell you what it weighs with all your stuff in it, digital locking and unlocking with an app, location tracking to tell you how far it is on the baggage carousel and self alerts when it’s lost or being stolen. The Bluesmart truly earns its moniker of a smart suitcase.

Butt Shake and Park Suitcase

So, you don’t want a suitcase that is smarter than you, but do want one to park your butt when the line is too long at immigration and security? Well, this one can also entertain you and all the fellow passengers. A built-in high-quality sound system, docking station and portable seat, the Travelteq is your personal jambox at the airport.

E-Book Reader

Most of you read books on your ‘can’t use it for anything else so might as well use it as an e-reader’ tablet. That’s a huge compromise. A true e-book reader like the Amazon Kindle Oasis is an altogether different experience. Highest resolution for a reader, great screen, special buttons to flip pages and true paperbook feel. It’s a ballsy move for Amazon to price it as high as they have, but your eyes will thank you for it.

Footprints In Time

At the beach for a holiday and leaving boring footprints? Leave a true mark and get people to marvel at how witty you are from head to foot. The FlipSidez Flip Flops have your message imprinted on the sole. ‘Follow Me; Bring Beer’ could become the call sign for your holiday this year.

With the FlipSidez Flip Flops (above), you can easily bring fun into your holiday.

Anti-Arm Wrestler

Economy air travel can be so much fun. Cramped seat, no leg room, crying babies on both sides, awesome reheated frozen food and the epic battle for control of the armwrest. Well, that’s all over now with the Arm-Share, a double-decker device that creates a full upper and lower armrest surface that is comfortable for both.

Rolls Royce of Travel Cams

People oscillate between overkill (big, fat DSLR) or compromise (camera phone that fails in most situations). Get a Go Pro 4 silver. Use it as a regular photo and video device. Small, good battery life, built-in Wi-Fi, 4K video, powerful photo-capturing and can go underwater too.

Royal Selfies

A selfie stick for travel is critical equipment. You cannot keep giving away your camera to strangers. Therefore, the PolarPro PowerPole is compatible with GoPro cameras as well as with phones with an adaptor, it extends to 30 inches and is splash-proof.

Swiss-Army-Knife Headphones

Most headphones get defeated by all the wires and cables one has to wrestle with. The Bragi Dash are truly wireless. Noise isolation, built-in mic, 1,000 songs in its onboard memory, plus it can track your heart rate, calories, oxygen saturation and other body vitals. This one delivers.

The Go-To Device

While it’s built mainly for the ladies, I wouldn’t mind carrying one around. Here’s Go Girl equipment built just right for them. Medical grade-silicone plus a container and you can boldly go (standing up) where most men have gone before.

The Go Girl equipment is perfect for women on long road trips.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, May 22, 2016

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