In the world of planned obsolescence, nothing annoys more than yesterday’s technology. At the same time, especially during the holidays, nothing excites more than the latest gadgets. And if you’re a traveler, chances are you want to be first on your block–or your plane–to have one.
Here are some candidates for this year’s hi-tech gift ideas:
1. Smart Suitcase
Instead of carrying your heavy bag, you can make your bag carry you. Modobag ($1,495) is a rideable motorized suitcase that speeds up to 8 MPH and charges your electronics. It can accommodate riders that weigh up to 260 pounds and has a capacity of 30 liters. And if someone tries to steal it, you can track it with the built-in GPS indicator. If racing across the airport doesn’t sound appealing, there are also other options that come under the category of smart luggage. For example, Away suitcase ($225) charges your devices with the removable battery and comes with a three digit lock as well as a nylon laundry bag, which separates clean clothes from dirty garments. Similarly, G-RO Carry-On ($445) is equipped with a built-in charger and GPS tracker. It also features special wheels designed for any type of terrain and weather conditions.
2. Techie Notebook
Smart notebooks claim to solve the problem of travel diaries. Handwritten notes have more character, but they tend to get lost. Moleskine Smart Writing Set ($200) automatically digitizes and transmits to your phone anything you write (or draw) on paper. This way you can edit your notes electronically and share them to different platforms. Another smart notebook called the RocketBook Everlast ($34) synchronizes your notes with a cloud service of your choice and lets you reuse the same pages by erasing your scribbles with a damp napkin.
3. Self-Heating Jacket
When it’s freezing outside, you can’t bring a heater with you. So why not….wear one? Jackets from Ororo ($160) feature three carbon heating elements installed in the chest and mid-back areas. And you can regulate the temperature by pressing a special button. And it has a dual function: the jacket also charges your phone. This is only, of course, if you don’t forget to charge the jacket itself. Its battery lasts up to eight hours.
4. Personal Alarm
A personal alarm comes especially handy for solo travelers. BASU Personal Alarm ($24.99) looks like a simple memory stick. However, when you feel unsafe, you can just pull its pin to activate the siren. The piercing sound of 120dB should help to attract attention or scare off the offenders. And unlike pepper spray, it’s TSA-approved.
5. Glasses With a Built-In Camera
Have you ever felt like taking too many pictures makes you miss out on the actual experience? Especially if you’re talking selfies. If so, you can buy smart glasses that automatically record what you see with a simple tap or sweep. For example, GOGLOO E6 Video Camera Sports Glasses ($100) feature UV-protected polarized lenses with the inbuilt HD 1080P camera. Another option is DigiOptix Motus Smart Glasses ($89) – the prescription-friendly glasses can record high resolution 720p videos, take photos and make calls.
6. Translating Headphones
“No comprendo” or “I don’t understand you” will eventually become the phrases of the past. you can now purchase Google Pixel Buds ($160) that will translate in real time whatever you hear to the language of your choice. Smart headphones understand 40 different languages that are available on Google Translator. So now you have no excuse not to meet the locals.
By Alisa Sokolova for PeterGreenberg.com