After attending CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, one thing is clear for travel tech- gadgets are getting more active. As vacation styles evolve and we are able to see more and more of the globe and trot even further off the beaten path, our toys have to evolve with us. The coolest accessories are more rugged, heighten the mood with crystal clear audio, take images as if you were there and are designed small enough to fit in a carry-on (no baggage fees here).
Usually at these shows we see digital cameras get smaller and sleeker. Somehow this year's new models went against the grain and are literally telescope size (seriously you could see into space with this level of zoom and precision). ! The other camera trend was retro. Brands like Fujifilm and Samsung adopted body styles that looked like old-school black boxes. Not heavy or clunky, but definitely weightier than the standard colored plastic models we see so frequently in point and shoot models.
Amidst these puzzling changes, there was a diamond in the rough. The GoPro, a versatile and unusual camera designed for the adventurer that can be worn or helmet mounted for any kind of extreme sports on land or in the sea. WiFi enabled, their line of Hero3 cameras is waterproof and crafted with wide angles to capture the true motion of skiing, surfing, biking or even skydiving. All products come with a free app that lets you control the camera remotely from your smartphone or PC with additional complimentary video editing software to make your images look super sharp and make your friends super jealous. Very reasonably priced, models range from $199.99 to $399.99 which makes a great gift for the traveler in your life
We all want to block out the screaming child on the plane next to us, and in the world of personal audio, bigger is better this year. Sleek ear buds have been replaced with brightly colored headsets that make a fashion statement as much as pack an audio punch. Monster's Genesis ($550) is in the high end category, delivering two modes of sound with variable settings. Onkyo is another premium brand you should investigate if you're an audiophile because their ES-HF300 Model ($180) is sleek and sexy with bass equivalent to an actual home speaker system. They look pretty good on, too.
The biggest surprise at CES was that Travelocity, which you know as a package air/hotel provider who apparently also has a line of branded travel accessories that include adaptors, waterproof cases for your electronics, organizers, and chargers. If you're a fan of the company's roaming gnome, you can get the little guy on a luggage tag.