From a Self-driving Suitcase to the World’s Smartest Headphones, These Are the Best New Travel Gadgets
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been the biggest tech convention for decades, but as the years go by and we get more and more mobile, it’s become the best place to find the most exciting new products in travel technology. From backpacks and camera equipment to global hotspots and GPS trackers, this year Sin City saw some intriguing innovations for those on the go.
Cerevo XON SKI-1 sensors
Equipped with the latest wireless, GPS, and phone sensors that collect data on your downhill technique. Although the XON SKI-1 sensors use Internet of Things technology — the network of physical things that are connecting to the internet — that allows skiers to check their performance data in real time on a phone app. At CES they were attached to traditionally crafted Japanese wooden skis from Japanese luxury ski brand Reine Deer, blending the very old with the very new. Unfortunately, digital stats won't be available this ski season as Cerevo’s new product isn't scheduled for release until next winter.
To buy: cerevo.com
ForwardX Robotics Ovis autonomous carry-on
Auto-follow luggage was everywhere in Las Vegas this year. But this 20-inch carry-on case doesn’t just follow you, it stays by your side. With so-called ‘side-follow’ skills, the 10 pound (when empty) Ovis has a top speed of six miles per hour, goes for 12 miles on one charge, and can handle a six-degree slope. As a bonus, it’s got a GPS-enabled tag for real-time tracking, so if the airline does lose your luggage, you will instantly know where it was left.
To buy: ovis.forwardx.com, $799
Cauldryn Coffee smart flask
If you’re packing a thermos and heading out into the wild, you know you’re going to have a good day out. However, the same usually can’t be said for the coffee inside it. Cauldryn Coffee is a 16 oz. vacuum flask that, at its most basic configuration, can keep drinks hot for 10 hours. But this new gadget goes way further than that, with an accessory available to grind and percolate coffee beans. A life-saver when camping? For sure, and the built-in Bluetooth speaker and LED lantern are just as useful.
To buy: cauldryn.com, starts at $129.99
Jabra Elite 85h headphones
Any pair of noise-cancelling headphones that can block out engine noise at 35,000 feet are great for long-haul flights, but they’re dumb compared to the ‘intelligent adaptive audio’ of this clever new set from Jabra. Part of a new type of gadget called ‘hearables,’ the Elite 85h have six embedded microphones that automatically adjusts audio when moving between, say, a busy train station and a quiet train carriage. They are also capable of creating silence in airplane cabins, offers a 100% hands-free voice assistant experience, and will stay charged for a massive 32 hours.
To buy: jabra.com, $299 (available starting April 2019)
Adero smart bag system
GPS trackers of all kinds were on display at CES this year, with the technology having shrunk so much you can put sensors not only on your luggage, but also on the valuables inside. The Adero system is comprised of Smart Tags that attach to larger items, like a suitcase, and Taglets, which attach to smaller items like your passport, laptop, and cellphone. All the tags are linked, so if you press the smart tag on your bag it will light-up green if all of your valuables are inside. If something is missing, the app on your phone will alert you. The Adero system comes in a handful of bundles and starts at $79.99.
To buy: adero.com, $79.99 to $199.99
Fonebud W travel WiFi hotspot
If you travel a lot and like to keep in touch with home and document your trip on social media, you know the hassle of finding reliable WiFi or dealing with local SIM cards. The Fonebud W is a device that solves that problem by creating a WiFi hotspot from 4G and 3G phone networks in 90 different countries by using e-SIM technology to seamlessly switch between networks. It also allows users unrestricted access to Google, YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp in China without having to use a VPN. A final flourish, the Fonebud W serves as a wireless charging device for new phones equipped with wireless charging capabilities. Plans are "pay as you need, pay as you go," with data plans starting at $2 per GB.
To buy: fonebud2u.com, $157
The Internet of Things is a weak mobile phone network that allows receivers to communicate their position once per minute or less, and at CES, it found itself a great home. LynQ is a great device that will help you find your friends, family, or even pet by helping you determine which general direction they went. Ideal for finding people in the mountains, hiking, biking, or even just at a crowded musical festival, LynQ displays a big arrow pointing to where your friend is so you can follow and find them. The system can keep track of up to 12 people in a three-mile zone and has a 3 day battery life.
To buy: lynqme.com, $209
Pivo smart pod
With ever-increasing production values on social media, today’s travel bloggers, v-loggers, and social media influencers can no longer get away with merely photographing themselves in front of a must-see sight. Cue Pivo, a ‘smart pod’ that allows more creative content creation by holding a smartphone and slowly turning it. Think of it as a tripod for the social media generation. Creating ultra wide panoramic photos and time-lapses is made automatic and easy, while novel shots like ‘ManyMe,’ can get yourself into the same shot several times over in various different poses. Ideal for solo travelers, this device is set to go on sale later this year.
To buy: getpivo.com, $79
G-RO The Check-In
Sometimes, two big wheels are better than four small ones. That's the philosophy behind G-RO’s first full size suitcase, which features the brand's signature indestructible GravityRoll wheels designed to tackle tough terrain. That includes the bumps, drops, and steps of airports and public transportation. The result of G-RO founder and designer Netta Shalgi's living out of a suitcase for 12 years during a military traveling assignment, The Check-In features a dedicated shoe pocket, seven handles, and an ultra-durable ballistic nylon build. It's available in a handful of color and wheel options, or an upgraded carbon fiber addition.
To buy: g-ro.com, starting at $545
Nommi Power 4G intelligent router
When you're traveling light, gadgets need to to do more than just one simple task to earn a spot in the bag. This phone-sized router is mostly about creating 4G WiFi hotspots for your phone, tablet, or laptop, but it also includes a 10,000 mAh wireless power bank to recharge your phone as you go. But, what we like most is that it smart-shifts between mobile networks and WiFi hotspots, but includes a virtual private network (VPN) that makes using public WiFi much safer. It also means that Nommi can also be used in China. It costs $35/month for 5GB of data.
To buy: nommi.net, starting at $120