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Travel Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Travel

The Best Travel Tech From CES 2020

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a sprawling showcase of bleeding-edge technology, concepts, and cool stuff being shown off for the sake of creating headlines. Through all of it though are a few products to look forward in 2020 plus some tech trends we might be seeing not long after.

This is some of the best travel tech I came across at CES 2020.

Sony’s Vision-S Electric Car

Put this one under things that will never be made into production but we really wish would be. Sony shocked CES this year by showing off a slick electric car, with high resolutions screens inside and high definition cameras (instead of mirrors) outside. Not unexpected from a company known for making quality displays and lenses, but a car like Sony’s Vision-S could give Tesla some actual competition… only if more than one were ever made.

sony vision-s

Delta’s Parallel Reality Screen

Imagine being able to have customized airport screens that give you specific information like your gate all in a language of your preference. Delta’s Parallel Reality let’s 100 people look at the same screen but see different things. Partnering with the startup Misapplied Sciences, Delta will debut Parallel Reality in Detroit’s airport this summer but you can watch a preview in the video below.

Folding Screen Laptops

Dell showed off a prototype folding display laptop which in a few generations could give you a viable laptop-tablet combo with the benefits of both. Having a screen on the bottom half of a laptop gives you more usable space – perfect for tray table typing – but the concept Dell debuted at CES is still too fragile and clunky for practical use for now.

dell folding screen laptop

Jabra’s MySound

Jabra makes a solid pair of noise-cancelling headphones (original review here) but it’s their new software that caught my ear at CES this year. They’ve got a hearing aid division at Jabra so they’re brought in their expertise there to help develop MySound, an app that can tailor music to your specific ears. We all hear different sound frequencies differently, based on genetics, age, and gender. At setup, MySound gives you a hearing test to determine your unique sensitivities to adjust music accordingly. The improvement I heard was so dramatic I didn’t want to listen to music any other way. MySound can improve any pair of headphones using software; it will be released around March this year.

Some Other Cars And Cameras

BMW was back with their Urban Suite concept I tried in virtual reality (VR) at CES last year; except now the driver-less car is a physical vehicle. A street legal one at that, the BMW i3 Urban Suite is car that embraces self-driving technology by letting you sleep, read a book, or simply chat with a friend as the car navigates traffic for you. Several of these all-electric i3 were driving around giving people rides at CES – imagine how much more you’d get done on a commute if you weren’t the one driving.

A few other notable gear updates:

  • GoPro’s Media Mod – The complete vlogging setup was finally on display and will begin shipping around March.
  • Everything Was In 8K – But it’s still too expensive for prime time.
  • Ping Pong AI Robot – I got to play against a machine that was reading my emotions to help me become a better player. It even let me win a few times to put me in a better mood, how nice!

CES this year showed a clear trend in the personalization of tech through smart feedback systems to customize our interaction with various electronics. Cars that become our living room, music made for our ears, not to mention airport screens only we can see. For the past decade hardware and software have been on different courses but improvements to both mean a unique convergence is beginning, hopefully resulting in more time for us humans to enjoy the ride without having to drive.

foXnoMad 10 Year Challenge

old site

One of the very first forms of foXnoMad.com looked like the picture you see above, it’s the oldest version I could find from way back in 2006. (Although I do have the code for the original site still.) A lot of people have been sharing their 10 year challenges and technically this is a 14 year one yet I thought it would be fun to take a look back at foXnoMad, the site in its pup stages.

How It All Began

Originally, this site was a way for a few friends and I to keep in touch (before social media was a thing). It was hosted on something like Blogger, but it wasn’t very customizable which frustrated me so I bought a domain, coded up a site, and waited to see what happened.

What happened was after a month, it was mainly me writing on the (now-defunct) first domain. Occasionally my mom would comment but it was when a complete stranger asked me a question that things changed. I realized other people could be reading (duh) and that if I wanted to continue, I should probably make something they would want to read.

I redesigned the site not too long after (the third major redesign, this is the fourth) with a lot of help and feedback from family and friends. I still remember staying up until 4am coding and countless color tweaking of the site.

10 Years Ago

This is a 10 year challenge so let’s not jump too far into the future. 10 years ago I was posting 5 times a week, once every weekday. As the site grew more popular, social media became a thing, and 0 inbox email hasn’t happened since; eventually that became 3, now to two posts weekly.

foxnomad

Day and night I wrote, with the goal to make every post more useful and engaging. Two passions, travel and tech came together around this time a decade ago and I knew what the mission statement should be. Travel smarter.

2020 And Today

Showing you all the ways to travel smarter continues and has grown into different mediums. There’s the foXnoMad YouTube channel, Apps, and more recently, podcast. I’ve traveled to around 90 countries, written over 2,685 posts, all while still not completely believing this can be real. But, thanks to you, it is.

10 years ago I couldn’t imagine where any of this would lead. All I knew was I loved writing, traveling, and tech. A lot like traveling, follow your heart, listen to your mind, and hear what others are telling you will lead you to places you never knew you wanted or needed to go.

Perhaps, a few things I’m working on now will blossom into paths I can’t foresee. Actually, I definitely can’t predict anything other than I can’t predict. The same is probably true for you. Guess we’ll have to follow up in 2030 but let’s keep in touch along the way. That’s the fun part 😉

In-Depth Travel And Tech: The foXnoMad Podcast Is Ready For Your Next Trip

The foXnoMad Podcast is travel and tech in-depth to help you travel smarter with discussion that goes beyond this blog. Showing you how to travel smarter is the goal of foXnoMad: there’s this website, YouTube channel, apps, plus newsletter but there are topics that require a different medium to explore properly.

The foXnoMad Podcast comes out every other week and the first two episodes are live now. You can listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast – basically everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Why A Podcast?

A few reasons: there’s a lot of news in travel and tech that doesn’t fit as a blog article or YouTube video. Many of you send me questions through email or DMs whose answers would benefit a lot of other travelers. A podcast is an ideal place to dive deeper into things the require more nuance or explanation. In the first episodes for example I talk about the ethics of influencers visiting Syria, getting arrested in Mexico, and what New Year’s Eve in Times Square is really like.

foxnomad podcast

I know, a million other people have a podcast and it’s been something I’ve been planning for over 3 years. The foXnoMad Podcast is designed to educate and entertain you about the two topics you love, tech and travel. It’s a collaborative effort so I hope you’ll listen and send me your feedback to help make every episode even better – not to mention more useful for other travelers.

Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and give the foXnoMad Podcast 5 stars there too – it’s a big help to get the word out to more travelers. Thank you again and see you in the next episode!

Where To TRAVEL in 2020? Travel Blogger Recommendations!

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is one full of tech and travel so while you’re looking back on where you’ve been I got some of my travel blogger friends to help you plan where to go this year. These are some of the most traveled people I know and I appreciate everyone who sent me their recommendations – most places I haven’t been to either! You can see all the bloggers, plus my travel pick for 2020, in the video above.

Anker’s Soundbuds Curve Are Budget Wireless Earbuds For Runners Who Travel

No matter how good a pair of sports earbuds are, if they don’t actually stay in your ears it doesn’t really matter. Anker’s Soundbuds Curve are a pair of budget exercise earbuds that aren’t great in any one category but manage to be solid across the board. When added all up these nearly $25 Soundbuds Curve are a good choice for travelers who run.

You can watch my full review of the Anker Soundbuds Curve in the video above or read on.

The Hook

There are a few main ways earbud manufacturers design earbuds to stay put. Some, like the RHA MA390 use a thick neck cord for weighted balance while others like the NuForce BE Sport3 leverage wingtips. Anker has opted a blended solution: smaller wingtips to maintain stability just above your ear canal and a larger hook over the ear.

anker soundbuds curve review

The result is a clunky set of headphones that are surprisingly light, relatively comfortable, and certainly stable. Soundbuds Curve won’t fall out, even on longer jogs, sprints, or running up stairs. Having used the Soundbuds Curve on near marathon length runs they only needed a few minor readjustments (usually when I began sweating) along the way.

Sounds… Average

Anker has done a good job of making the Soundbuds Curve seem more premium than a $26 price tag would imply. They come with a case, a variety of wingtips to fit in different ears, and Soundbuds Curve have a sleek matte finish. The microphone plus 18 hour battery life are also good touches Anker has made – these are the main features most people look for in sports earbuds.

Soundbuds Curve have decent sound quality too – not terrible or great. Simply average with an okay amount of bass, something most earbuds lack anyway.

When you’re working out though or especially running outdoors, sound quality or isolation isn’t important to all but audiophiles. Being cheap enough also not to be a devastating loss if they’re stolen or lost not to mention IPX7 waterproof, Anker is showing what’s possible for budget headphones. A few tweaks to the physical design and the audio can only get better with each new version, the overall average Soundbuds Curve are a good choice for running travelers.

Enjoy This Drone Movie Of The Scottish Highlands, Including Isle Of Skye

A few days ago I gave you my best travel advice on how to spend 48 hours in Edinburgh. Although that’s a short time in Edinburgh, it’s an even bigger shame to visit Scotland and not make it to the Highlands. If these photos didn’t convince you, perhaps this drone movie guest starring the Isle of Skye will.

Legally, Scotland is one of the easiest places to fly a drone in the world but logistically, the weather can really test your skills. Thankfully, I didn’t crash into anything (this time) however if you’re a noive drone pilot, be sure to learn from these mistakes.

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