This post was most recently updated on June 26th, 2019
Getaway to Las Vegas? Ok I’ll be honest with you; it’s not my favorite destination. But I do know how to make the best of any travel opportunity, and I’m not going to let you down this time. I’ve been to Las Vegas many times and it’s usually about visiting or meeting family. Mostly because it’s halfway between San Diego, which I call home—and Utah, which is where my kids have been for several years. But this trip was to visit the Consumer Electronics Show where I accompanied my husband and did some research of my own.
We made this trip by car–it’s about a 4 ½ hour drive from San Diego to Las Vegas not exactly at posted speed limits. We like to use our driving/riding time to plan, check emails, listen to music, and watch Glide videos of the grandkids! And since gas prices have come down a LOT (only $2.29 per gallon at Costco), it was pretty inexpensive. Every time I make this trip, I try to find something of interest I can research as a possible future destination. This time, the road sign that said “Minneola Rd—Early Man Site” caught my attention. This is possibly the site of the oldest human occupation in the United States, and Dr. Leakey was the project manager of the archaeological site until his death in 1972. One of these days, I’ll make a stop and let you know if it’s worth visiting. On the drive, we lost about 15 minutes of time to typical slow traffic around Corona, CA on I-15. It’s nearly impossible to avoid, so if you’re making this trip, just plan on it. It’s still better than taking the 215 route.
Back to CES. So, what’s all the hype about CES, anyway? And what does it have to do with travel? You probably already know what it is, but just in case you don’t, it’s a HUGE conglomeration of new electronic products plus roughly 170,000 people. You get to preview new products, as well as technologies that will shape the future. You can attend if you have an industry-related affiliation, and mine happens to be a sign business, but I really wanted to check out any travel-related applications of electronics.
So here are some of the things I viewed at the show this year: travel accessories that charge and power your personal devices, on-board flight entertainment by Panasonic, smart luggage, smart home monitoring, GPS tracking, and one of the most popular items—quadricopters for aerial photography. TravelBlue has some versatile world adapters, and I noticed that Travelocity has also branched out into travel accessories.
I have to say I was really impressed with what Panasonic had to offer to make a flight more entertaining—customized access to internet, home theater, games, live television, real-time weather monitoring, and interactive in-flight communications. After many years of tolerating low quality movie screens and info channels in airplanes, this will be a refreshing improvement. Panasonic’s systems can even be configured to allow hotel and rental car reservations before you land.
A recurring theme at CES this year was unique power banks for your personal devices. I think my husband’s favorite was one built into a belt buckle (the Xoo belt by Nifty), while mine was the Pearl compact mirror battery pack—what a stylish way to have extra power for those long traveling days! (This is an affiliate link; if you buy through this link, I’ll earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you extra)
Tracking devices that use GPS technology could really come in handy, whether it’s your car, your luggage, or your child you want to keep track of. Tile, TrackR, and Trackimo all have small, innovative clip-on or key chain units with smartphone apps to track their whereabouts.
Being able to monitor and automate your home while you are away might bring some added security and ease of mind. There were a lot of products demonstrated at CES this year. One of my favorites was WeMo by Belkin. They have a line of products that use the internet to control your home electronics, power, water, and Wi-Fi right from your smartphone or tablet.
eGeeTouch presented a smart luggage lock that does not require any keys or combinations–just your smart phone. And Levo demonstrated a traveler’s luggage tray that attaches to your carry-on pull-out handle, making it very convenient for using your tablet or eating a meal while waiting for your plane.
And lastly, one of the hugely popular items being demonstrated at CES this year was the quadcopter in its various forms. At first glance, this may seem like just another kid’s toy. However, a quadcopter makes it possible to get fantastic aerial footage of places you travel to! Wouldn’t it be amazing to have aerial footage of the medieval castle you just explored? Or the Grand Canyon? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
I would love to hear what you’d like to see in the way of innovative travel technology–be sure to share your insights in the comments below!