Take a look at how travelling lighter and smarter with innovations that reduce luggage, keep your devices charged, and capture the highlights of your trip
Travel tech - Big gains from small gadgets
The way in which we travel nowadays is significantly different from how we moved around in the past. We used to lug around heavy cameras, with bulky and messy cables to make sure that they stayed charged. Travelling with several bags, often filled to capacity, was the norm, too, because it’s just what we did. Well now, thanks to technology, we have all the necessary gadgets we need to reduce our luggage space and keep our devices fully charged, and we have items such as smartphones and GoPros that are far smaller in size, but capture those picturesque moments we want to share on social media or just with those in our inner circles. This month, we bring you gadgets that you should definitely find the space for in your luggage.
Is your bag too heavy? Are you a bit low on space because of those winter woollies? This little gadget from Vago might solve your problem. It’s a compression device, 70 millimetres long, that will reduce the space taken up in bags by half. There are four available colours (white, black, purple and pink) and it is powered by a USB cord that you attach to a power bank to start the compression. As we head towards the festive season, you can now compress your soft items and make space for those all-important gifts.
Vago compression devices cost from Dh249 and are available from www.gadgetgoodsasia.com, which also sells small, medium and large vacuum bags
2. Bang & Olufsen wireless speaker
If you like your music portable, with a side of high-end Danish quality, Bang & Olufsen’s latest wireless speaker could be what you’re looking for. The Beoplay P6 is the latest iteration of wireless speakers from the luxury consumer-electronics brand. While the portable smart speaker market is becoming increasingly crowded, B&O has focused its efforts on aesthetics and powerful audio. The retro-chic aluminium speaker – reminiscent of the brand’s products of the 1970s – wields 16 hours of playback time. You can also access Siri or Google Assistant, or accept calls on your phone via the speaker’s OneTouch button. While it’s on the heftier side for a portable speaker, at one kilogram in weight, you will be glad to know it’s equipped with a leather strap for easy carrying.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6 costs from Dh1,599 and is available from Bang & Olufsen in Dubai Mall
3. BenQ Projector
As we head into the cooler months, it’s an opportune time to be gearing up for the camping season. While mums and dads take in the fresh air, your little ones might be more inclined to have something to watch before bed. So a happy medium is Benq’s camping portable projector. The GS1 portable mini projector is cable-free, and its one-touch set-up means that anyone can use it without needing a degree in engineering or physics to figure out the controls. The palm-sized projector has a built-in USB reader and can run for up to three hours on just one charge. It’s a big hitter, too: you can project onto a 60-inch
big screen from just a metre away.
The Benq GS1 costs Dh1,899 and is available from Jumbo, Sharaf DG and EMAX stores across the UAE, or online at
souq.com and dubaimachines.com
4. Belkin power bank
Smartphones are great for many reasons, but for all the positives they bring, the one issue that manufacturers are yet to fix is the battery life. This has resulted in most of us being out of juice at the most inopportune time. So if you’re travelling and your photo gallery is made up of snaps from your phone, invest in a power bank. Belkin’s lightweight portable charger is perfect for your bag or your pocket. This slim, lightweight and compact power bank can give you an additional 19 hours of call time or 11 hours of browsing social networks, apps and other web platforms. You can also charge wireless headphones, speakers, drones and smartwatches.
The Belkin Pocket Power 5K costs Dh99 and is available from belkin.com
5. GoPro HERO
Earlier this year, GoPro launched the new Hero edition. This go-anywhere camera makes it easy to capture everything and share those experiences with those you have left back home. The durable device is waterproof up to nine metres, it has a two-inch touch display, a video stabilisation feature and a voice control feature, which is perfect for when you’re climbing or riding your bike. What’s also good is that it’s easy to sync to the GoPro app and it allows you to create the videos you want with the minimum of fuss.
The GoPro Hero costs Dh849 and is available from gopro.com
6. Duffel Pack 2
A nice thing about camping is that you don’t need to pack a lot of clothes. So in an effort to travel light, use the new Duffel Pack 2 bag. The compartments allow you to place your laptops and gadgets on one side and your clothing in the other. Plus, if you’re out and about and your shoes get wet or you need to air your clothing, the ventilated shoe compartment will come in handy. The Duffel Pack also has a padded mesh back panel to ensure you’re comfortable, and it’s breathable, too. The bag is available in black, grey or navy. Use it as hand luggage or even day-to-day – it’s a product that will work for all occasions.
The Duffel Pack 2 costs from Dh625 and is available from aersf.com