Tag: Travel Technology

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Qantas Tries Something...Um...Different for In-Flight Entertainment

February 3, 2015 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Isn't it a little too early for April Fools?

Qantas is banking on the fact that international first class passengers paying beaucoup bucks for the comfy seats won't mind looking silly with a virtual reality headset loaded up with Hollywood blockbusters, destination tours and highlights of new services from the Aussie airline. (Looks like we spoke too soon last week.)

Partnering with Samsung, the red roo is offering high-rolling flyers, both in-flight and on the ground, an option to be transported to a new dimension with the headsets. Whether you're waiting for your plane in the First Class Lounge in Sydney or Melbourne or flying in first on selected A380 flights to and from Los Angeles, passengers can strap on and experience the trial service for three months starting in March.

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MSC Cruises' New App Lets You Tour Ships and More (No Dramamine Needed)

January 26, 2015 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

How you remotely toured a cruise ship in 1989: Go to the mall, find the temporary “ship deck” installation by the escalator, sidestep some inflatable Mylar palm trees and procure an informational pamphlet from a cruise line salesperson in a sailor hat.

How you remotely tour a cruise ship in 2015: Download an app.

Last week, MSC Cruises announced the launch of their mobile app that lets smartphone users, and prospective cruisers, take virtual tours of the fleet’s 12 ships. The free download lets you explore the nooks and crannies of each ship – from staterooms and restaurants to spas and theaters – while offering a litany of other features: like cruise itineraries, background info about destinations and ports, global positioning features that let you track the movements of the fleet, and even live onboard webcam feeds. (Which is really the cheapest way to travel, when you think about it.)

Overall it’s a pretty solid idea from MSC, which cruises year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally throughout other worldwide waters. Download the app here to start cyber-surfing in preparation for your next cruise IRL.

[Image: msccruisesusa.com]

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Google Street View Finally Drives All Over Dubai

December 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Wandering around for the finest falafel or searching high and low for the coolest kebab shop might be a thing of the past in Dubai thanks to Google Street View. Now a trip to the Middle Eastern nation can be as simple as heading to your laptop to plan the finer details of your itinerary.

It seems this is the first Arab country to allow Google's camera-clad cars to drive around collecting images, which now include the world’s tallest tower, largest mall, the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, and even some of the beaches of the Arabian Gulf.

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Flight Attendants Absolutely Do Not Want In-Flight Cell Phone Use Legalized

September 25, 2014 at 9:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

Less than a year ago, the FCC floated the idea of allowing cell phone use in-flight, a movement that most, including us, think would be a terrible, terrible decision. This week, the Association of Flight Attendants, an organization that represents about 60,000 flight attendants working across 19 carriers, confirmed that it too thinks allowing passengers to use cell phones in midair would be absolutely insane.

Here's an update on the situation: This week, a bipartisan group of 77 House Representatives sent a letter to the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission that expressed their concerns over the safety and security issues in-flight cell phone use would bring up.

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Not Sure What's Rocking the Treetops? A Shazam for Birdcalls Can Help

September 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

By now, we’re sure most of you are familiar with Shazam, the smartphone app that can listen to and identify a song by artist and title. The audio recognition technology is absolutely amazing, helping us name that tune whether it's playing at a bar, in a hotel lobby, or during the climax of a movie.

The concept might seem most useful for the partying and nightlife crowds, but as fate would have it, the technology has slowly been making its presence felt in one of the travel industry’s most quiet, observant segments: Bird watching. Outdoor enthusiasts have harnessed the power of audio recognition software to begin creating apps that identify animal calls, specifically birds, in the same way that Shazam recognizes a song.

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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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How Your Next United Flight May Help to Track Endangered Animals

July 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Chances are we've all seen a David Attenborough documentary or two, and listened as he discussed how specific animals move, live and act in their natural habitat. The reason this information is known is mostly due to animal tagging and tracking. Basically, putting small GPS sensors onto animals to track their migration and possibly help prevent the endangerment of the species plays an important part in conservation and research.

Now, United will play a new role in this animal tracking with their installation of radio receiver antennas on their aircraft. They'll be able to pick up signals for animal tags while they fly around, which seems like a perfect idea since the airline criss-crosses any part of the planet 5,300 times per day.

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Travel App Review: 'Rotten WiFi' Locates and Rates WiFi Signals Around the World

May 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comment (1)

Finding reliable WiFi while on the road is finally, hopefully as simple as opening up an app on your smartphone.

A handy new iPhone app helps users sniff out the fastest free wifi and 3G networks on the go. Rotten WiFi isn't just a tool to rate the performance of a signal; it's also a social network to warn potential network users of bad hotspots and redirect them to the best connections.

Whether you're in an airport, hotel, cafe, convention center or government building, you can easily find the fastest available free network and see what other visitors have said about it.

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Travel App Review: 'Views On Top' is Like the Child of Instagram and TripAdvisor

May 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Planning a vacation is hard enough when you think of all the decisions to be made, from picking destinations to choosing airlines and hotels. That's why we're pretty excited to check out this new travel app that marries photo-sharing sites and TripAdvisor. Views On Top lets travelers browse photos from their destination and cherry pick what they'd like to see.

Its target are the time poor travelers, as the app allows users to check out stunning shots of locations shared by either locals or other tourists. It even assists in travel photography; perhaps you want to get your own shot of the Taj Mahal at dawn or the perfect capture of Copacabana Beach from a secret roof deck, well snap-happy visitors can share tips for snapping that perfect shot.

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Virtual Time Travel is Now Possible Thanks to Google Street View

April 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Great Scott! Okay—so we might not be able to go back in time in the near future, but Google Maps is doing their best to show off the next best thing. They’ve added a nifty little feature to their mapping software, and that means your day at the office will be filled with this excellent distraction and time waster.

At this point you’re probably pretty darn familiar with Google Street View, and now it’s being taken to the next level. When you virtually walk through a neighborhood be sure to check for the availability of a little clock icon in the upper left part of the screen. Obviously Google has a whole bunch of image data from when they started doing things, and you’ll be able to take a look back in time as far as the Google archives can handle it.

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Is Google Giving America a Bad Rap Abroad?

November 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

There's no question that Google has done incredible work when it comes mapping our world. We can literally log on and take a virtual journey through the streets of places we've never physically been, which is not only a saving grace when it comes to directions and logistics, but it allows potential travelers to get some inspiration to go along with a preview of their destination. In that sense, we have to tip our cap to Google and its infamous "street view" project.

But that being said, it should come as no surprise that Google's actions, both in the U.S. and in other countries, have been highly scrutinized and criticized. Turns out, Google has been collecting much more than intersections and street signs - it's also collecting personal data via open Wifi connections, including emails, passwords, web histories, etc.

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Google Maps Goes to Gatwick Airport in Its Most Ambitious European Project Yet

November 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's been only a couple of years since Google Maps made the leap into airports, mapping the inside of - depending on what kind of a day we're having - either our favorite or absolutely least favorite places in the world. Since then the Mountain View kids have not only expanded their airport offerings, but have even gone inside actual airplanes 'waiting' on the tarmac. What's left to do?

Do more and go bigger, obviously. TechCrunch reports that Gatwick Airport has become the newest location to receive Google's 360 degree panoramic Street View treatment. The UK airport - the second busiest in the country - is now apparently open to virtual touring. It only required stitching together 2,000 overlapping photos, matching the results to the airport's actual layout, and uploading everything. Piece of cake.

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