There’s many lists online that highlight the best gadgets to bring along on a holiday, but they always read a bit dry. Standard power packs, boring satellite phones, crappier portable versions of common household items… They’re never that exciting. So, today, we thought we’d jazz things up a bit, and recommend bits of brand new tech that are a bit more fun and out-there. This is cutting edge technology, but with the all-important distinction of being interesting. For Capturing Memories: So, as we said before, the usual fare includes a power pack somewhere, so let’s get our one out of the way first. Portable chargers are always somewhat cumbersome, even at their smallest, as they’re little blocks that often serve no other purpose. One of the things you will want to charge most is your phone, so why not give it some extra phone-related functionality? Caption: Fancy Stabiliser Fancy Stabiliser

Anyone who has tried to capture precious memories in video form on their phone will know all too well that Cloverfield-style shaky-cam becomes all too prevalent. With the Fancy Phone Stabilizer Power Bank, you can charge your phone, whilst also making your footage silky-smooth. It simply slides onto your handset, and the internal electronics do all the rest. No matter how your hand moves, the stabiliser will always rotate and adjust accordingly to keep your phone oriented to a set level, allowing you to make impressive shots. It’s the smallest of its kind (weighing only 180g), and boasts a 2600mAh battery. The Fancy was successfully funded on Indiegogo on March 2nd, exceeding its target goal by over 800%, and is expected to be available to the public very soon. In a similar vein, Indiegogo also recently featured another helpful photography and video aid, the Podo. This is a tiny Bluetooth camera that is designed to stick onto any solid surface. The re-stickable base grips to things “like gecko’s feet” according to the creators, and will never lose the ability to latch on as long as you occasionally wash off the base with water. The Podo is only a few centimetres in width and length, and yet it sports a better camera than just about any smartphone on the market, meaning you won’t be losing out on quality by opting to use this instead. It simply syncs with an app on your phone, and then from there you can view the image it sees remotely, before taking photos and shooting videos from afar. Like the Fancy Phone Stabilizer Power Bank, the latest iteration of the Podo smashed its funding target back in October of last year, only by an even wider margin, achieving 1522% of the original goal. It’s available very soon to anyone who wants to take group photos without worrying that the stranger taking the pic won’t do a runner. On any trip away from home, you’ll want to document all of your highlights in the best way possible. The quality you can achieve by using devices such as these will make your photos and videos look more like your actual memories, instead of some wobbly approximation. For the Truly Lazy Y’know what’s exhausting? Carrying bags. So, because of this, the wheelie travel bag was invented, alleviating the strain from our fragile little frames. But y’know what’s exhausting now? Idly dragging said wheelie bags. Yes, the standard pull-along travel bag has now become as cumbersome to the modern traveller as a 2-ton backpack. “No!” the people said, “we don’t want to have to hold onto things anymore!” And so, some bright spark heeded the call of these hypothetical whiners, and created a literal bag robot. Actually, to be precise, several completely unaffiliated people have all created little bag robots. This isn’t just a one-off product, this is a genuine new thing that’s happening, and appears to possibly be staying. Snark aside, I’m honestly quite excited about the prospect of a suitcase that follows me around like an obedient dog. Freeing my hands up for more important things like juggling or competitive knitting, my companion will dutifully carry all my worldly belongings whilst dodging obstacles and enemies with its built in smart sensors. The technology involved in these carrying devices is in fact rather staggering. Advanced pathfinding enables the cases to follow your movements with pinpoint accuracy, but they can adjust their course to suit their surroundings at the same time. Speeds can vary from a crawl to a sprint, and they come equipped with a variety of safety features as standard. Certain models can be programmed to go to specific destinations unaccompanied after having done the journey only once before. The minds behind the Gita Smart Cargo Vehicle even claim that their creation has a better sense of balance than a human. Planet of the Bags may be more likely than Planet of the Apes at this point. Gita, the autonomous cargo robot Gita, the autonomous cargo robot

The Gita is the compartmental friend that we have found to be the most impressive. Born from the same company as the Vespa, by a man who envisions a future where robots are commonplace, the Gita is stylish and forward-thinking. It’s bigger than most of its competition and thus can carry far more, providing a greater level of utility and necessity to anyone with a hefty load. It can pivot on the spot, lock away its contents with a fingerprint scan, and be instructed to park in wait of your return (calling out “stay!” unfortunately isn’t the way you do this as of yet). In addition to this futuristic cargo robot, there are other options that look far more like a conventional and familiar wheeled-suitcase that you commonly see around airports. The Travelmate Robot Suitcase boasts its ability to stack other bags and even people on top of it whilst travelling horizontally, and the COWAROBOT R1 emphasises the various features that can all be controlled from your smartphone. The Travelmate is already available to buy, the COWAROBOT is obtainable soon via pre-order, and the Gita is currently only for a select few to test, with a full rollout hopefully coming in the near future. All of the various robotic cases - despite the initially comical-sounding concept – could be a real game-changer for future globetrotters. They’re great to use in airports when you have a lot of things in your hands to sort as you come to a gate, and would suit city breaks well, trundling along to your hotel as you focus on navigating. In some hotels in the near future, they will even be able to bring things from your room to the lobby downstairs. For those Long Journeys There’s one aspect of international travel that will always be unavoidable – long flights. As time goes on, airlines provide more and more things to keep you entertained during the ride, but it’s never anything to write home about. Well, now, there’s something worth writing to the blog about: the Nintendo Switch. Unlike previous gaming devices from the Japanese giant, the Switch is a modular hybrid console. This means that it’s not a home console, or a portable one, it’s both. The Nintendo Switch, switching from handheld to docked mode The Nintendo Switch, switching from handheld to docked mode.

With the Switch, you get a full-powered console experience that you can play on your TV, and then you can simply lift the main unit out of the dock to seamlessly continue the same experience on the go. But what does this have to do with travel? Well, as the Switch uses the same controllers when docked and when portable, the joycon controllers on the side of the device actually slide off of the portable form, joining forces inside of a grip attachment to feel like a traditional gamepad for home use. But, this is simply one way to use the modular design. When using this thing on the go, you can prop up the tablet-esque console on a flat surface using the kickstand, and use the joycon as two individual controllers - it’s the first portable gaming device with built-in single-screen multiplayer. For example, you could take the Nintendo Switch on a plane, and use the tabletop mode to play a multiplayer game like Snipperclips with a friend to pass the time. Or, as it’s something that works well as an icebreaker, you can hand a joycon to the stranger who will be sitting next to you for the next 9 hours, allowing you to connect with them in a unique way. Nintendo Switch in tabletop mode Nintendo Switch in tabletop mode

When waiting around at an airport, possibly for a connecting flight, you can use the Switch in handheld mode to enjoy a big sweeping game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wherever you choose. You could even connect to nearby Switch devices for ad hoc multiplayer in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or hop online using Wi-Fi for a round of Splatoon 2. The Switch was clearly designed with travel in mind, as it has an airplane mode that’s quickly accessible from the home menu. Sleep mode is great for bringing you back into the action instantly without load times when you want to just play for 5 minutes, and the Switch can make use of SD cards as big as 2TB so that you won’t be lugging loads of cartridges about. When you return from your trip, all of your gaming progress will continue on your big screen the instant you slot it back into the dock, which is a real boon for gamers. Having everything in one device is a big selling point, as having multiple different devices for similar functions is becoming an increasingly outdated idea. The Switch launched on March 3rd worldwide, and has already sold over 1.5 million units. Demand is still strong, with the console currently being sold out across all retailers, so keep your eyes peeled for new stock. Your flights will now fly by like never before with the great software available on Switch – it’s the perfect time killer for those parts of a holiday you wish you could skip. The Sum of these Parts So, what would a holiday with these gadgets in tow look like? You arrive at the airport, and play your Switch while waiting for you flight. When you’ve finally boarded, you continue the game in the air with a friend using tabletop mode. Once the plane lands, you put it back into your robotic suitcase, which will dutifully follow you along as you make your way to your transfer. Once at your hotel, your suitcase will continue to shadow you, dodging everyone you pass with ease. After you’ve settled in, you head for the beach, bringing your Fancy Stabiliser with you. There will be a compendium of perfectly smooth video of your day because of the Fancy, and it will also leave you with plenty of charge for the rest of the day. Heading back to the hotel, you remember you forgot your Podo, but your friends want to get going to the next place already, so you instruct your robotic bag to bring it downstairs to you. Later at the bar, you use the Podo for some great group shots by sticking it on the wall across from your table. Back at the hotel once more, your friends have all turned in for the night, but you’re still wide awake. You pull your Switch back out and put on some headphones to enjoy a quick little game before you finally doze off. Technology should never dominate your experience on holiday, as you’ll miss out on the real experience of new places. But devices like these can certainly enhance your experience, making things quicker, easier and smarter, with a healthy dose of fun thrown in. We hope this has given you some ideas for how to use technology while travelling. Any one of these products would be a great thing to own, so be sure to have a further look into whichever ones captured your imagination the most.

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