The Travel Gadgets You Need on Your Next Adventure
Advancements in technology are making travel more enjoyable by the year. Here’s a list of must-have gadgets for your next vacation that you didn’t even know you needed.
Take your party anywhere you go. Harmon Kardon’s Onyx ($499) is a volleyball-sized speaker that delivers a sensory tour de force. Camouflaged under its cloth-covered grill are four drivers pumping out crisp audio, backed by two, 3-inch woofers for deep base and a pair of 3/4-inch tweeters for clear high-frequency sound. Grab its stainless steel handle and move it where you want, then connect it wirelessly to the music on your iPhone or Android phone for eight hours of nonstop beats. Helping matters is the Onyx’s secret sauce, a so leather backside that adds richness to the sound—and produces a speaker that’s as much a high-end showpiece as it is a complete sound system.
Thankfully, Aëdle, maker of the premium VK-1 Headphones ($380), opted for understated elegance and luxury, not DJ bling. The on-ear cups are loaded with 40-millimeter drivers and high-end transducers made of a titanium diaphragm and neodymium magnet, wrapped in ultraso, lambskin cushions. The exterior is fashioned from brushed, aircra-grade aluminum, and the headband is formfitting liquid silicon wrapped in supple lambskin. Looks aside, the VK-1’s true beauty shines when the music’s on. Pouring out dark, velvety tones alongside crystal clear mid-range notes, these headphones are designed for music’s most discerning fans. Bonus: The VK-1’s high-quality touch extends to its audio cable; the aramid fiber-wrapped cord houses a microphone for use with a smartphone.
The Whole Picture
From the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to the front rows of Fashion Week, there are many places where you’ve wished you could soak in the surroundings and commit the details to memory forever. But photos, regardless of the resolution, rarely cut it—the crop of the image always cuts out the magic. But the slim RICOH Theta ($399) captures every angle by taking spherical 360-degree snaps using a pair of convex lenses on both the front and back of the device. Shoot and store up to 1,200 JPEG images with the camera, then wirelessly download your images to iOS devices via an embedded Wi-Fi transmitter, or upload files to a PC through its microUSB port, which doubles as a charger for the camera’s battery. Once the image is transferred to a Facebook, Tumbler or Twitter feed, viewers anywhere can zoom in and out, look up, down, and all around the image. Your friends and family may not be able to accompany you on your trips, but when they see your photos, they’ll feel like they were there.
Super 16 film is the stock of choice for indie and documentary filmmakers, and if you want your memories to look as good as their silver screen features, you should use it too in the form of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera ($995). Call it the digital camera answer to shooting in Super 16, albeit one that tips the scales at less than a pound thanks to a lightweight and durable magnesium alloy frame that’s, yes, small enough to fit in a front pocket. For lenses, the Pocket Cinema accepts the industry’s Micro Four Thirds lenses, allowing cinematographers to use a huge array of existing film hardware on this digital shooter. And by capturing video on SD cards, the camera makes it easy to offload clips to your laptop on the fly. No computer? The Blackmagic’s 3.5-inch screen on the camera’s rear makes it easy to see which clips will make the cut on your highlight reel
While the Sony DEV50 Digital Recording Binoculars ($1,999) look like something out of Star Wars, there’s no science fiction going on inside. Instead it’s stuffed with some of the most cuttingedge imaging technology on the planet. As a pair of binoculars, these lenses are capable of up to 25x magnification, making them ideal range scanners on safari, beach or mountains. But what makes them truly out of sight are two image sensors that allow these binos to shoot 20 megapixel photos, and a pair of high-speed processors that record 1080p HD video in 2-D and, incredibly, in 3-D as well. Assembling images from both the le and right lenses, the DEV-50’s 3-D movies spring to life when viewed through the lenses. A micro-HDMI output lets you move the show to HDTVs. Sony does all this while also cramming image stabilization and auto-focus into the binoculars’ splash-and-dust-resistant housing to produce a svelte 1.6-pound unit that can admirably replace your digital camera with the bulky zoom lens.