This post was most recently updated on August 24th, 2022
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. I’ve been to Las Vegas many times and it’s usually about visiting or meeting family. Mostly because it’s halfway between home and Utah, where my children live. But this trip was to visit the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where I accompanied my husband and did some research of my own.
Traveling to CES
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.
What exactly is CES?
Back to CES. So, what’s all the hype about CES, anyway? And what does it have to do with travel? It’s a HUGE conglomeration of new electronic products plus roughly 170,000 people, attending to check out all the new ideas. You’ll 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 & Home Automation
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 from your smartphone or tablet.
eGeeTouch presented a smart luggage lock that does not require any keys or combinations–just your smart phone. Levo demonstrated a traveler’s luggage tray that attaches to your carry-on pull-out handle. That makes it very convenient for using your tablet or eating a meal while waiting for your plane.
Drones at CES
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’d 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!
Tami, Great new website! I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll do with it. How great you got to go to CES – how many miles did you log???
Patti, thanks for the compliment. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see on Postcards & Passports. CES was really interesting, and we put in a LOT of hours walking around. Definitely logged in several miles!
This looks like a TON of fun!!! I know you mentioned it a few years back as something I might want to go to….I didn’t think it sounded fun at all, but now I’m convinced! Only question: how would someone without a business affiliation to technology go about registering for it?
You’d be surprised how easy it is to find a business affiliation to technology. A photography business, for example. Or automotive accessories sales. Or a job in the health monitoring industry. The press is also allowed to go, so if you’re writing for a technology magazine or focusing on an electronics application for a blog (travel, home monitoring, audio, 3D printing, etc.) you’d have an “in”.
Hi Tami! I am so excited about your blog! It looks and sounds wonderful! I am enjoying the photos and information! LookIng forward to more
Thanks! More on the way soon…
Wow, that quadcopter does look amazing! I’m definitely with you re the mirror charger- a terrific idea.
I love the compact mirror battery pack – what a great idea!
I love that the first thing you mention is Panasonic. My husband is a software architect and the first company he worked for in California was Panasonic Avionics.
I used to be a visitor (long time ago) to CES. But this sounds like another very fun edition. I’ll have to see for those power banks: traveling as a nature photographer these days requires so much portable power.
Oh and for the quadcopter: I have one, but note that the use is not allowed over the national parks (I think the Grand Canyon qualifies as one) seen the incredible amounts of stress they cause to wildlife.
Thanks for sharing!
Good to know about the restriction on quadcopters in national parks. It’s probably not the only area with restrictions. As always, we should be informed and responsible travelers!
What an interesting event! I’m always fascinated by technology (while not being particularly techy myself) and love when it comes in cute little packages: the little mirror is my favourite: very Bond-girl! Going on line now to see if i can get hold of one!
The mirror battery pack seems cool! I want one! 🙂
What a great way to take advantage of a not specifically travel related opportunity!
I must say, we’ve encountered people using those heli-drones on our travels, and if they remain distant, they’re okay… but when they get much closer, they are incredibly annoying (the noise is great to ruin any tranquil setting), and feel pretty invasive as well!
The things they think of… and also it makes me want to have all of them. Gosh
Karla, I felt the same way. I finally went online and bought myself the compact mirror power bank!
I’m in San Diego too, but I do not like that drive. The WeMo sounds interesting, but I definitely would not want a smart luggage lock – too easy to hack.
Tami, Great new website! I love the quadcopter haha! LookIng forward to more.
Our phone capacitors are life savers! Doubling up as a mirror is a bit genius. How would the suitcase lock work at customs? I assume you won’t be able to use it when it’s checked in?
Loved the mirror power bank!
I hate to carry that little box around without any other utility. With the mirror, I can at least fix my lipstick once a while.
I can imagine how interesting was the show, and how many different and new stuff you saw. Thanks for sharing!
Great post and some awesome products. May have to get Gabby the mirror battery pack for Christmas…. she’s a lucky lady! 😉
A helidrone is on our list. We found one called Lily which looks amazing but pretty pricey. Waiting for the next gen of them with obstacle avoidance…may be handy.
I am not sure whether those electronics are good or not. Travel should be about just yourself being out there and enjoying yourself not having to bother with technology, no matter how useful it is
The compact mirror battery pack looks amazing!!!
To be honest, I just bought one for myself, and I love it!
Oh wow, I never actually heard of CES before but it sounds like a great opportunity though. All the products seems creative! I got my eye on the quadcopter though, I’m looking to get one soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing!