Have Phone, Will Travel: Great Tech and Gadgets for Your Mobile Device
There’s any amount of new technology that startups bring out to serve the travel market each year. There’s so much that going on, however, that once you have your power bank and a Bluetooth headset, it can be hard to know where to head next.
A tracking device for everything
If you misplace your phone somewhere around the house, you know that you can use another phone to ring it, and then follow the sound. If you’ve always wished that you could ring your keys or wallet in the same way, it’s now possible. You use a product called a Bluetooth tracker. Made by companies like TrackR and Chipolo, these are battery-powered Bluetooth-enabled disks that you slap on anything that you are likely to lose. When you can’t find the item, you simply ring it. These can be especially useful when you travel. They help you keep track of your belongings in a strange place.
A lens kit for your phone’s camera
If you love traveling light and hate the idea of dangling a heavy camera everywhere you go, compact lens kits to clip over your phone camera are a great idea. When you position one of these lenses over your phone’s camera lens, you get a telephoto lens or a wide-angle lens, depending on the product you choose. Companies like Aukey make very inexpensive lens kits for different needs. Since these kits are tiny, you can even slip more than one of them into your jacket pocket, each one for a different kind of photography need.
A reliable weather app
When you’re traveling, you need a weather app that’s always up-to-date, and capable of giving you the information you need, at a glance, all with as little phone data used as possible. Apalon’s Weather Live (try this app) comes with a gorgeous, minimalist design, a highly customizable interface and advanced predictive features such as a Radar mode. The design is so good, it’s won awards.
Turn your phone into a walkie-talkie
The GoTenna is a communications device that offers a wireless signal that your phone connects to. When you travel as a group to places with no phone signal, each one in the group gets a GoTenna device to clip on their bag or their clothes. The device generates its own signal and lets everyone in the group talk to each other even when there is no cell phone signal. It may not be for everyone or for every kind of travel need. For groups that go out to explore the wilderness, however, it can be very useful in certain circumstances.
Finally, don’t forget the low-tech hardware
High-tech products don’t solve your every problem. Sometimes, you just need a low-tech solution — a pair of scissors, a screwdriver, tweezers and so on. You could consider carrying a Swiss Army knife, but they don’t let knives on board planes. Thankfully, Victorinox no makes the Jetsetter, a Swiss Army knife with everything but the knife.
Finally, even if you already do have a power bank, it can be useful to get one of these new products that combine power banks with a functionality of a different kind. The Oaxis Air Scale is one of these products. It’s a power bank that also helps you weigh your luggage. It’s always nice to be able to weigh what you have and to know for sure that you’re within your airline’s luggage limit.