Developments in Travel Technology – For the Man on the Move

In a world where radically advancing technology stakes an ever greater part of our day to day lives, its applications in the field of travel and holidaying are proving to be more and more useful. Indeed, with uses ranging from entertainment to navigational aids, there are many devices that will greatly enhance the quality and convenience of a tourist’s travels. 

Re-Kindle a Love for Holiday Reading

Holiday reading material is a quintessential pastime for many holiday goers around the world, with many prospective tourists picturing the prospect of lying on a sun kissed beach with a book in hand as a heavenly nirvana of relaxing bliss. However, with budget airlines placing ever more stringent restrictions on the weight of luggage permitted on board their planes, and with each kilogram of extra storage mass coming at a premium price, the Amazon Kindle efficiently enables users to transport thousands of books saved on one super light, highly portable device. With groundbreaking ‘e-ink’ technology, which replicates the appearance of actual ink on paper, the Kindle is very easy on the eye, designed specifically to avoid the eye strain associated with staring at conventional screens for long periods of time. Additionally, the 3G version allows users to be able to download books, newspapers magazines and other popular publications wirelessly almost anywhere in the world, meaning that if a traveller decides they want a travel guide or just a new novel to read, it is only ever a couple of minutes away.  

Ignore the Signs

While traversing pastures new, winding roads and obscure dusty trails may prove difficult to navigate purely via foreign signs. Likewise, asking for directions will likely result in a confused and awkward series of finger-pointing and shoulder shrugs from both parties as they try to circumvent the language barrier between them. However, satellite navigation systems such as the Tom Tom harness the powers of GPS to exactly identify where the user is on the world, and can provide lost voyagers with simple turn by turn directions to their destinations, vocalising them in the user’s native language, delaying the dreaded conflict of foreign languages until the adventurous tourist has to ask for a pint of beer in the awaiting bar. Providing aerial overlays of the roads, drivers can see the network of roads before them on-screen, and the display also provides information such as the exact distance until the next turning to be taken, the current speed of the car and the remaining distance of the journey. The device also helpfully notifies the driver if they are exceeding the speed limit or if there is an upcoming speed camera. Satellite navigation systems have become superbly accurate, and can be vital in helping intrepid tourists explore unfamiliar terrains and stick to the pre-determined plan for the holiday.

Augmented Reality

With smart phones and tablet PCs becoming ubiquitous across the world, there are many apps designed to enhance a tourist’s experiences of exciting new locations. One innovative app, named ‘Wikitude’, runs ‘augmented reality software’, whereby when the user pans the device’s camera across a scene before them, the app recognises specific ‘points of interest’ and then provides information about them, their origins or the services they provide. This means that when a tourist is in view of a landmark or range of interesting looking buildings, they may use Wikitude to reveal salient information about all the prominent points of interest in sight. Cheaper than a tour guide, and enthralling to use, Wikitude is a great app for sightseers looking to glean information about the attractions they behold.

Mandy Barraclough is a 29 year old travel writer from London who covers everything from travel insurance to cruises for a range of women’s magazines. She loves to travel and play tennis and has even written a brochure on the best places to play tennis around the world, taking into account, locations, costs, surface types and club rules.

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