Tag: Travel Tech

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Apple Pay Does Disney World, But What About the Rest of the World?

October 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

Blah blah blah Apple Pay. Although it seems like the new mode of payment is all anyone can talk about this week, the attention is for good reason. Apple Pay is hopefully the first step towards a future we've always envisioned for travelers, a future served by universal payment.

Granted, Apple Pay has a long long way to go before we can hold up our phone to pay for bus fare in Hong Kong one day, and do the same to pay the bill at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Denmark the next, but the growing ubiquity of iPhones and iPads means this native Apple app has serious potential, not to mention that many other countries have already eclipsed the US in contactless payment technology.

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Quiet Bubbles and Virtual Reality: What You Missed at the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo

October 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, the airline industry descended upon Seattle for the North American side of the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo, a conference that focuses on the future of passenger experience and interior cabin design.

Not only are related issues discussed, but private companies present their products to the airlines, aimed at inventing and improving the future of air travel.

Here's some takeaways from the conference:

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How Apple Pay Makes Life Easier for Travelers

October 20, 2014 at 6:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Apple Pay is the hot topic of conversations this week, as Apple releases their "credit card killer" for easier, and more secure payments. So far it's only available to Americans, for use in the United States, but as this is only the beginning of Apple Pay we can see an expanded future ahead. So, how to get started?

First off, you must be in possession of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Mini 3 or iPad Air 3 running iOS 8.1, and you must enable passcode lock and, for the iPhone, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition). It's extra layers of security.

For help with setting it up, check out AppleInsider, which we did and then immediately headed out to Walgreens to purchase a few mini travel toiletries.

Apple Pay performed beautifully. When the cashier totaled up our purchases, our Passbook Apple Pay screen switched itself to prompt us to place our finger for Touch ID. When our print cleared, the phone vibrated and chimed, and displayed a small record of the transaction including store name and location.

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Should You Take a Segway Tour? We Weigh the Pros and Cons

October 20, 2014 at 12:13 PM | by | Comments (2)

Segways. Where there's a tourist hotspot city center, there's likely to be a Segway tour or two of it. Sometimes you're onboard, and sometimes you're not, but whatever your opinion of Segway tours, it's clear to see that they're here to stay.

We recently hopped on a Segway tour in Ft Lauderdale, Florida for something a little different, and we'd be lying if we said Segways didn't come with a list of pros and cons. If you've ever debated on taking a tour or even turned your nose up to strapping on a helmet and quietly scooting around, this is for you:

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Short Flights on Small Planes Won't Be Left Off United's In-Flight WiFi Plan

October 17, 2014 at 8:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

Good news for United flyers, as the airline is bringing its WiFi capabilities to even more planes. Now the cramped legroom and narrow cabins of all those United Express regional jets will be slightly improved, since they're next to have the switch flipped on in-flight WiFi.

Installations will start sooner rather than later, and the fleet is expected to be finished at some point next summer. All in all they’re looking to install the wires, cables, and antennas on over 200 planes. WiFi of course will be a great option, but the up in the air connectivity should also work for their snazzy streaming service too—check out our thoughts on that.

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A Review of United's BYO-Device Entertainment, Still in Beta Testing

October 15, 2014 at 10:03 AM | by | Comment (1)

Just about a year ago, Virgin Australia launched their cool new wireless BYO-device entertainment system. It was thought that this would be the wave of the future, as more travelers armed themselves with iPads.

Now we're excited to announce United has begun testing a similar system on this side of the Pacific. On a recent flight from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale, we were lucky to score a plane equipped with beta-test of this technology.

As a regular passenger, we received an email from United two days before departure, with the info that we'd be on a plane with this system. The email was similar to their webpage explanation, and it detailed how we could trial the entertainment choices by streaming them to our own iPad, iPhone, or laptop. By simply downloading the free application from the Apple App store, we would be able to enjoy hours of movies and television shows from gate to gate.

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British Airways Sprinkles Some 'Sonic Seasoning' on In-Flight Meals

October 14, 2014 at 7:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

British Airways is on a roll with tweaking entertainment for their flights. First, there was the 7-hour train trip through Norway that occupies some space in the in-flight entertainment channel line-up, which was soon joined by the cute animal-focused Paws & Relax channel.

And who can forget the mood blanket thing? (We kid--it was actually totally forgettable).

This month, the news from BA announces the launch of the "Sound Bite" menu, which pairs audio entertainment with what's on your meal tray:

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Try Not to Be Freaked Out by the Robot at Indianapolis Airport

October 14, 2014 at 8:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you've never made it to or through the airport over in Indianapolis, then you're missing out on one of the USA's top airports—seriously.

Travelers at IND now have an extra amenity in the form of a robot, who has just begun roaming around the terminal and using its interactive abilities to answer questions.

The thing is called "Double Robot"—guess there was no money left in the budget for a clever name like "IndyBot"—and it’s topped off with an iPad. Instead of employing a physical human being to walk around, the robot is equipped with a video link to an actual person, ready to assist you.

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Alaska Airlines Gives a Thumbs Up to New Thumb-Out Fingerprint Technology

October 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re not quite ready to name a Jaunty winner for biggest mover and shaker of the airline industry for 2014 just yet, but Alaska Airlines seems to be making a case for the title each and every week. This time they’re introducing further technology at their destinations, specifically a way to check-in for flights with just your finger.

Alaska Airlines is checking out how to use fingerprints for your reservation, calling it “e-thumb” technology. It’s not just to get on the plane either, as if things go well they’ll put biometrics to use to credit cards for stuff like onboard purchases. Right now the testing seems limited to using the technology—and your thumb—to gain access to the airline lounge.

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Google Replaces Streetview Car with Camel to Map Abu Dhabi Desert Oasis

October 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

A few weeks ago Google posted a very slick interactive slideshow highlighting the new Google Maps of the pyramids in Egypt. You start at the top of the presentation here, and then you just begin scrolling down. The next slide is a regular Google Maps page that you can navigate, and then each next page is a series of clickable history lessons. You can lose hours, and we've embedded a video at the bottom to give you a sense of what's afoot.

That got us thinking though: getting to the pyramids is easy enough once you're in Egypt, but if Google is really going to start putting locations in middle of the desert on Street View, how exactly is that going to happen? Those GPS mapping machines are not small. We know how they do paved streets, and we've seen how they do rivers, and walkways inside zoos, and everything in between. But all of those are places either inherently accessible - like rivers - or designed to be that way. Deserts are more or less the opposite.

It turns out that they're going to use camels. Because of course they are.

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New Flight History Tool Thinks It Can Make Sense of All Your Globetrotting

October 8, 2014 at 1:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last year we reviewed a handful of flight tracking tools, and hopefully helped you clean out that folder/drawer/bag pocket where you keep old boarding passes. Tracking sites are a great way to keep your flight history in one place, not to mention easy to reference (for those dinner parties that escalate into stats oneupmanship between frequent flyers).

This time around we're talking about Jet It Up, the newest flight diary to the scene, as it might be the easiest we've seen yet. First off, you have to be organizing your itineraries with the TripIt app. Jet It Up then imports directly from TripIt, and fills in the details you might not have remembered. Otherwise, you can do it the hard way and manually enter the incidentals, which include date, flight number, aircraft and airline from each journey.

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Why London's Iconic Red Phone Booths are Turning Green

October 6, 2014 at 9:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve seen creative uses for phone booths in the past, as they’ve been turned into mobile charging stations over at the airport—among other ideas and other places. Now some of the iconic phone booths in London are getting a 21st century makeover, and once again it’s all about keeping devices charged and ready to go.

New green-hued phone booths are called Solarboxes and, for right now there’s only one; however, plans calls for at least a few more to be switched on in the coming weeks.

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