Smart Travel Gadgets: I’ve never been a fan of carrying my laptop in a sleeve. Slipping your computer into a sheath only to have to re-insert it into a larger bag sounds overly complicated. Plus, from my undergraduate days, I have vivid recollections of frumpy grey foam laptop bags that resemble wetsuits.
Smart Travel Gadgets: Laptop Sleeve
In recent years, fashion manufacturers have flooded the market with bags for tablets, smartphones, even AirPods. Louis Vuitton offers a checkerboard laptop case, while Comme des Garçons’ version features a fun bubble print, and Australian accessories retailer Bellroy offers a caramel-colored leather Tech Folio.
Smart Travel Gadgets: Pulling power
If the prospect of a dead phone and no access to a power outlet makes you nauseous, make place in your hiking pack for this portable power bank. It’s hardly the chicest or daintiest item, weighing 0.6kg and sporting a bold violet-and-grey colour scheme. However, it has a significant selling point: it can be manually charged by tugging on a retractable wire. (Pulling the bank for 90 seconds will provide enough power to charge a phone for a 25-minute call using a USB cord.)As a result, it’s an excellent source of backup power. It comes with a built-in LED lamp and optional accessories like as Bluetooth speakers, a panic alarm, and a GPS tracker, all of which are controlled via a smartphone app. It doesn’t require bulging biceps to activate it; although it provides some resistance, the cable is simply tugged. It’s a comfortable analogue travel buddy.
Smart Travel Gadgets: The thinking cyclist’s helmet
The Livall EVO21 smart helmet, the company’s latest invention, seduces you even before you’ve connected it with your phone. It was designed in collaboration with Ruma, a Spanish design company, and comes in mint, purple, white, and black (I’ll take the black, please). With bright, wide-angle LED front beams, brake lights on the rear of the head, and side indicators operated by a remote that attaches onto your handlebars, it shines before dawn and after night (meaning no need for outstretched arms and balancing acts while navigating windy roads).The intensity of the lights can be adjusted via an app, and the helmet is also compatible with iHealth, Siri, and the social network Strava, allowing you to track data and compete with other cyclists. It will detect a stop in movement and transmit an SOS warning as well as a GPS signal of your location to rescue responders if you have a major tumble. A smart take on a necessary item.
Smart Travel Gadgets: Barista-style coffee wherever you roam
Picopresso’s inventors aren’t going to tell you that their teeny-tiny new release makes brewing simple. The harsh description on the website of Wacaco, the Hong Kong firm behind a succession of remarkable portable espresso-makers, states, “With the Picopresso, there are no shortcuts.” This palm-sized device, on the other hand, allows you to manually draw espresso shots fit for a Melbourne barista from the comfort of your coastal hut or rural cottage.You’ll need boiling water, coffee beans, a manual grinder, and a lot of patience in addition to the stylish black canister, which is made up of a number of stainless-steel pieces. (If you really want to save time, you can buy extremely finely ground beans.) It creates dependably smooth and rich double shots with a 23-step process of grinding, tamping, and pulling, and while it is a little picky, the procedure can be contemplative when done in nature. Indeed, the need to perfect your regimen might become as addicting as the caffeinated beverage it produces.