Must-have trending gadgets make life easy as a digital nomad
It’s not enough that our travel gear be portable. Now it must surpass our expectations to do more with less – less bulk, delay and inconvenience – all while offering more beauty, quality and ease. These travel essentials pack the full-size performance of their predecessors into ever more compact and luxurious vessels, so you can bring the office, or the party, with you in style.
Mini Machine Makes Movies Mobile
Because you never know when you’re going to want to stage a
presentation of your brilliant business proposal or your adorable baby pictures, Aiptek Global has developed the MobileCinema i70, a tiny portable projector that weighs under 5 ounces. Measuring about 3.5 inches square, the device has a dual-bandwidth wireless connection and 70 lumens of brightness, so you can amaze friends by using the bartender’s shirt as a movie screen. The Mobile Cinema can project onto a screen up to 80 inches and operates up to 80 minutes on a built-in battery. Plug into the HDM I port to project from laptops, DVD players or your kid’s game console. Movie night in the Mercedes? Why not?
:: globalaiptek.com; $299.
Hello Silence, Goodbye Bulky Headphones
Pause for a moment and give thanks to crying babies on airplanes. They created a vast market for noise-cancelling headphones and the motivation for engineers to perfect them. Bose, a perpetual leader in the sanity-preserving headphone niche, has earned all-around kudos for the performance of the Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, the company’s first in-ear style. An inline microphone/remote allows users to switch quickly between phone calls and music and to click to “aware” mode, so you can hear the flight attendant tell you they’re out of Bloody Mary mix. They weigh under an ounce, operate for up to 16 hours on one charge and stash in the included carrying case. To keep the buds anchored securely, the headphones feature an ergonomic ear-hugging hook and come with three, cone-shaped StayHear+ tips to wedge securely against the ear opening. Worth the price for your sanity. :: bose.com; $250
Weigh Away Your Travels
You don’t want to find out at the airport that your 71-pound suitcase is going to cost you $450 in baggage fees when you fly American Airlines to Japan. Make every ounce count, and count every ounce with a luggage scale. The Oaxis AirScale is also a 6,500 mAh power bank that accepts USB and micro USB ports. Unlike most low-cost scales, the 5.5-oz. device has the power capacity to charge a tablet or an average smartphone two and a half times at more than double the speed of typical battery banks. The hand-held scale switches between pounds and kilograms to weigh bags up to 88 pounds. Be a smart traveler and carry it while you shop for gifts and souvenirs too. $59, oaxis.com
:: oaxis.com; $59
Wear Your Phone Charger and Stay Warm
Southern Californians have the whole layering-for-weather thing down. Yet the dressing up, down, on and off of all those layers is a pain when temps swing wildly from dawn to dusk. A group of hardy Utah entrepreneurs created a lightweight battery-heated coat that’s water-resistant, breathable and washable. Like an electric blanket with distinct heating zones, the coat can warm the body and pockets on low, medium or high for hours. Optional battery-free, touch-screen sensitive gloves plug into sleeves for additional, adjustable warmth. A 12-volt lithium battery stashed in a coat pocket keeps wearers comfortable down to 4 degrees and can charge a cellphone six times. A new, ultra-light down heated jacket is in development.
:: ravean.com; men’s or women’s coat, $200.
Light This Firecracker of Big, Booming Sound
When full, pure, lively sound is essential at home or on the road, you want a portable speaker that’s also wireless, waterproof and shockproof. Ultimate Ears has engineered a suite of them, but its biggest and best, the UE Megaboom, pumps sound nearly 360 degrees, stands 9 inches tall, weighs under 2 pounds and offers a 100-foot Bluetooth wireless range so you can stream while you wander away with your phone. It also functions as an alarm, speakerphone or computer speaker upgrade. The replaceable lithium-ion battery offers 20 hours of battery life between charges. With the Ultimate Ears app, #PartyUp, you can quickly connect two, five or more than 50 UE speakers to stretch sound to every corner of your beachfront estate. For a subtle serenade, you can use the equalizer’s “cramped spaces” setting. Be warned: Your teenagers will quickly commandeer it. Better buy two.
:: ultimateears.com; $200.
Portable Keyboards for Real Typists
Texting may be fast, but those three-word replies can leave way too much room for misinterpretation. If only you had a real keyboard always at hand for your phone, iPad or Apple TV that lets you type fast and accurately. Logitech has created the portable Keys-to-Go, an ultra-lightweight, wireless keyboard for iOS or Android systems that brings full keyboard functionality to all of your Bluetooth-enabled devices. No software or apps are needed to connect the barely 6-ounce keyboard that measures 9.5 by 5.4 inches and less than a quarter-inch thick. Hot keys allow you to take screen shots, search or adjust music tracks. Prop your smartphone on the included stand to build a mini “desktop” computer system anywhere. Wrapped in seamless, moisture-resistant, gunk-proof silicone, the keyboard types silently, sits securely and resists spills.
:: logitech.com; $70.