Tag: Travel Tech

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See, Told You Virtual Reality Travel Wasn't Far Off!

September 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

About a month ago, we wondered aloud whether virtual reality could make waves in the travel industry, allowing us to be mentally transported to destinations around the globe without physically leaving our home cities. We thought it was more of a daydream at the time, but this morning we awoke to the news that Marriott has unveiled what it calls "The Teleporter," a virtual reality machine that allows people to "tour" select hotels in the States.

The Teleporter made its public debut today at the Marriott in New York. It will remain there for five days, then take off for the rest of its eight-city tour to its properties in Boston, DC, Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco.

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American Airlines Chucks Even More Manuals in Favor of Technology

September 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

American Airlines was one of the first carriers to bring tablets into the cockpit, and now they’re taking the electronic devices one step further.

The carrier recently announced that flight attendants would also be ditching paper manuals in favor of electronic materials. American airlines just got the go ahead from those in charge of making the rules to utilize some new Samsung tablets, and it’s all in an effort to save fuel costs—an estimated million dollars or so per year.

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Hello Apple Watch, Goodbye Paper Boarding Passes?

September 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM | by | Comment (1)

As you're no doubt well aware, today Apple keynote to introduce not only the newest iPhones, but also the first Apple Watch.

At first it seemed like just another wearable gadget to sync with your iPhone, with the ability to notify you of incoming messages, emails, and the like, but the Watch seeks to act independently as well.

Travelers will appreciate the chance to use Apple Maps without whipping out a phone, and those who get creative with mobile travel photography will certainly enjoy using the watch's display as the viewfinder for the iPhone's camera. We are without a doubt most intrigued by the possibility of using mobile boarding passes on our wrist, which will be an option from the start when the Watch goes on sale in early 2015 for $349 and up.

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Travel App Review: ClaimAir Uncomplicates Airline Compensation

September 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Flight delays and cancellations suck. Period. But since the U.S. government has levied guidelines on how airlines compensate travelers who experience flight disruptions, the situation has improved. Still, those strict rules and guidelines for payouts can be very confusing, and it's no wonder the casual flyer still has no clue what's due to them.

Luckily there's now an app for that.

Enter Claimair. This handy mobile app is basically the perfect flow chart if you have a cancelled flight, excessively delayed arrival, denied boarding, or facing lost baggage. So next time you're blood pressure is rising, step away from the gate and tap on this new app.

Start by choosing your flight inconvenience, then input flight details and answer a few questions directly in-app. ClaimAir will then display a result of what is due to you options on how to go about claiming it.

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Plug In at Fresh Charging Stations, from JFK to LAX

August 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

On your next trip out of town keep an eye out for some charging stations at a few major airports. Sure it’s not worth scoring some airfare just to check them out, but we can’t complain when someone is doing something to make the travel experience that much better.

In total there’s 169 brand new charging stations doing their thing, as they’ve been installed over the last couple weeks at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Miami International Airport. Look for them in areas where plenty of travelers are coming and going—think spots like the gate areas, the restaurants, and the shops.

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Why Hyperlapse from Instagram is Such a Runaway Hit for Mobile Travel Photography

August 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

Have you posted a Hyperlapse yet?

Hyperlapse from Instagram, a free video app released yesterday to the iTunes app store, is enjoying runaway success, with more than 40,000 Instagrams bearing the #hyperlapse hashtag in just the first 24 hours. The quick uptake isn't surprising; the app is well-designed, easy to use, easy to sync with social media, and inspirational in nature.

It's obvious from the first moment of the first Hyperlapse (Instagram's promo video, above), that this brand new app is god's Instagram's gift to mobile travel photography. Wired even went so far as to call it a "$15,000 video setup in your hand."

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Could Virtual Reality Make Real Waves in the Travel Industry?

August 25, 2014 at 9:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

As you return to reality and head off to work after the weekend, we've got a little food for thought to spark a few daydreams. This weekend, we read a very interesting story from the BBC about how a group of psychologists are using virtual reality "time travel" to help people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

In a nutshell, patients enter a virtual world which allows them to interact with a situation they experienced in real life and come to terms with the decisions they made and now regret.

Obviously, the intent of the study has little to do with leisure travel, but the technology being used sure does. For example, the psychologists heading the study said that "participants could walk, talk and move similar to how they would in real life," and that "in virtual reality, the brain's low level perceptual system does not distinguish between the virtual and the real world; the brain takes what it sees and hears in a surrounding environment as given."

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What Kind of Role Does a Smartphone Play in Your Travel Style?

August 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

We cover a lot of smartphone applications that help make life on the road a little easier. And, without question, these products of technology in our pockets allow us to take shortcuts with our trip planning that were not possible in the past, from driving directions and virtual guidebooks to researching hotel prices from a café.

In that sense, the smartphone has eliminated the risk of “getting lost” while traveling, ensuring we always have a safety net at our side. They also double as our cameras, and have eliminated the need for casual travelers to carry two pieces of equipment.

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Believe It or Not, There is a Japanese SIM Card Rental with Unlimited Data

Where: Tokyo, Japan
August 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Confession: we're extremely heavy users of data on our smartphones, since those phones connect us to social media, work, maps, and pretty much everything else while on foreign soil. We're not ones to "power down" on a trip, unless the destination is completely off the grid. Thus, one of our largest concerns is being smacked with a ridiculously large international data roaming bill upon return home.

To prevent against big bills, we search for SIM card packages offering unlimited data usage, and recently had a great experience with one in Japan, a country with such advanced cell phone technology that it can be challenging to use anything but the latest handset. And, unfortunately, Japan doesn't make it easy for foreigners to purchase a SIM card; one must be rented.

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United Becomes First Airline to Allow Mobile App Passport Scanning

August 7, 2014 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Two days ago, when checking in for a flight from Denver to Guatemala City on the United app, we were unable to obtain a mobile boarding pass and had to check in at the desk upon arriving at the airport.

The reason for this is that a passenger's passport must be verified before a boarding pass - regardless of whether it's paper or mobile - can be issued on international flights. Surely, you're familiar with the self check-in kiosk that makes you scan your passport, and that send you to the desk agent when it malfunctions.

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Big Brother is Watching You Fly Through HEL

August 7, 2014 at 7:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

Here’s something new when it comes to airport technology, and it’s all taking place over at Helsinki Airport.

The airport is going to be the first in the world to actually kind of track passengers, as well as each and every movement that they make as they progress through the terminals and concourses. If WiFi is enabled on your mobile phone then they’ll be able to see where you’re going; however, thankfully it does sound like you need to opt-in to things before airport officials will be checking you out.

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What US Airports Will Welcome You Home with an Automated Passport Kiosk

August 5, 2014 at 3:37 PM | by | Comments (2)

Our favorite piece of travel technology to spread in 2014 is the Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosk, and every new airport added to the list of users is one more notch for progress. Joining the club this summer have been Newark, Atlanta, and—newest of all—Detroit Metropolitan International Airport, who just completed installation of 30 shiny kiosks.

The APC, which began at Vancouver International Airport, now allow travelers arriving from international flights to quickly enter their details, snap a photo, receive a stamp, and continue on their merry way into baggage claim; this is as opposed to waiting in a long line to see an agent for the usual passport review and stamp. It's not Global Entry; it's something better than Global Entry, not to mention the fact it's completely free.

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