Tag: Travel Tech

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Boston's All Set to Blanket the City with 'Wicked Free WiFi'

April 15, 2014 at 8:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

Checking out a city is always a little easier with the help of WiFi access, least of all to double-check direction in Google Maps. Thankfully Boston agrees, and it has started to flip the switch on city-wide connectivity. City officials have named the network "Wicked Free WiFi".

Up first is the Grove Hall neighborhood, encompassing about one and a half square miles and home to roughly 30,000 residents. This neighborhood was chosen as number one to provide decent speeds to those who might not necessarily be able to afford paying the premium for broadband at home, as city officials clearly recognize a resident's right to social media usage.

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Throwback Thursday: Big, Clunky, Expensive Satellite Phones on Airplanes

April 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

Yesterday, on a JetBlue flight from Boston to San Francisco, the airline had a record 125 devices connected to its new Fly-Fi in-flight WiFi, with speeds up to 28 Mbps.

To the average traveler, technology like this (with Skype easily running over the wifi) seems a bit like magic, but then again the simple act of making an air-to-land phone call also seemed like incredible magic only a decade ago.

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Augmented Reality Apps for Travel Attempt a Comeback

April 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Hey—remember back in 2009 when augmented reality seemed so cool? Like, whoa, we're all going to use our phones' augmented reality apps to find the nearest subway station, or read Wiki articles on nearby landmarks.

Sure, that was fun for a while, but those apps eat up battery life and are awkward to use in sunny, outdoor situations (not to mention how the dorkitude level of holding a phone out in front of you equals bluetooth earpiece wearing).

Well, our buddies at CN Traveler care to argue, as they've discovered a rash of new augmented reality travel apps worth a download. They seem to have forgotten our new favorite, London's Streetmuseum, but Google's Search App seems particularly good for the needs of 2014.

Read the full article on CNTraveler.com

[Photo: Wikimedia]

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Throwback Thursday: What Airline Websites Looked Like Over 10 Years Ago

March 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

It's hard to imagine, we know...but a whole 14 years ago the internet did exist. It not only existed, but it was hot enough at the time for airlines to take notice, and begin shifting focus to things like online bookings, flight status, web specials and—we laugh now—pager alerts.

Today we're rewinding to 2000, the good old days before smartphones, before the TSA, and before airlines understood that flash-heavy welcome pages made for horrible user experience. Let's take a look:

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Free Movies and TV Straight to Your Apple Device, Coming Soon on United

March 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Coming this April to United aircraft: live streaming movies and TV shows directly to your Apple device. The scoop comes from Patently Apple. As with any major United announcement lately, however, there is both good and bad news.

The good: the new entertainment system will initially roll out onboard the airline's Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and select 777-200 fleet, to offer passengers 150 movies and 200 TV shows for free.

The bad: It will only be accessible on Apple iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 with the United app, and on MacBooks (without the need to download an app). No word on if Android gadgets will eventually enjoy the same.

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The Next Airport to Have Automated Passport Kiosks is...

March 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have not been shy when it comes to sharing our love and affection for some of the new technology making its way into the passport and immigration control line. Automated kiosks smooth the process, and of course cutting down on lines after a long-haul flight is always a plus.

This week some of this travel technology makes its way over to Texas, as Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport is now featuring some of those awesome Automated Passport Control kiosks.

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WhatsApp and Travel: Why the Simple App is Already a World Favorite

February 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sixteen billion dollars.

That's how much Facebook just handed over to WhatsApp, the free SMS messaging app. When all is said and done, the deal is closer to $19 billion, and it's a shocking sum to pay for a company that offers its services for free to users.

Regardless, we've heard "are you on WhatsApp?" the world over, and it's especially popular in regions of where Facebook is not. For example, in India WhatsApp boasts 35 million users, which sounds incredible until you hear the total for globally active users of WhatsApp tops 430 million. This is approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume, and today's news will surely help the app reach and quickly surpass the 500 million milestone. Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for Skype's 300 million users in 2011, so WhatsApp's price does seem right.

Still, $16 billion is a heck of a lot for an app which has famously shirked advertising income, but the result is a simple-to-use, simply designed, free service that fulfills a basic modern need.

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Oh Geez, Google Glass is Already Going Into Airport Lounges

February 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The next time you are pre-departure wining and dining at Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Lounge in Heathrow, keep an eye out for staff sporting Google Glass. Since we know that there's nothing fashionable as yet about Google Glass other than its rarity, Virgin Atlantic is dispatching the fresh tech for its functionality.

For the next six weeks, the airline will be providing a seamless customer service experience with the help of Glass. Lounge staff will have the ability to give passengers flight information, weather at their destination, and even translate foreign languages on the go. Of course all that can come from a simple Google Search, but Glass has the cool aspect to it. Eventually, Google Glass would even be able to inform staff of a returning guest's dining preferences or favorite drinks, providing a personalized experience.

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KLM's 130 Social Media Agents Will Now Happily Book That Flight for You

February 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've said it before and we'll say it again now: KLM consistently kills it on Facebook. Even beyond Facebook, the airline does stupendously across the board with social media, and it's no wonder considering they employ 130 social media "agents" to answer the approximately 35,000 interactions on Facebook and Twitter every week.

With so much online action, KLM is now set to up their game by accepting payments via Facebook and Twitter, for everything from flight bookings and seat reservations to flight changes and extra baggage.

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How to Know If Your JetBlue Flight Has 'Fly-Fi' Internet Access

January 27, 2014 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

It seems like only yesterday that JetBlue was flipping the switch to finally inaugurate their Fly-Fi in-flight internet, but in reality a few months have passed and, with them, more aircraft with the super fast in-flight WiFi are taking off on tarmacs.

The airline now has nine Airbus A320s hooked up with Fly-Fi, and they've released a handy-dandy updated list of Fly-Fi routes those aircraft will operate. It's a growing list, with nearly 35 daily flights able to go about their internet business as usual from 35,000'.

Access to Fly-Fi is still free at the basic level. To see if it's worth your time and how the system compares to other airline's in-flight WiFi, check out our hands-on review of the system.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Power On and Phone Home from the Channel Tunnel

January 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Now more than ever itís hard to disconnect from things, and thatís certainly the case when youíre traveling about. Thanks to a little bit of connectivity ingenuity now you can even reach out and touch someone from under the English Channel, as mobile phone services are arriving for those zipping between the United Kingdom and France.

Those heading back and forth through the Channel tunnel will soon be able to give a ring to friends and family, as it sounds like 4G service will be arriving. Itís the north tunnel thatís getting the new cellular beams and bits, and this will be the first time you can continue to talk to your grandma as you travel from the island to the continent.

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The Best Flight Tracking Websites, Ranked and Reviewed

January 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM | by | Comment (1)

How many miles did you fly last year? What about different airlines? Total number of hours spent in the air? If you can't answer any of these questions, listen up because there's a slew of ways to easily track all these fun travel statistics with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Right now is the ideal time to begin logging your flights for this fresh year so that, come December, you'll have all sorts of fun stats to share at holiday parties and on social networks. "I flew 70,000 miles and visited 32 different airports in 9 countries this year" sure beats, "Yeah, I traveled a lot."

With this is mind, we put flight tracking websites to the test:

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