Smartphones, tablets and laptops have helped many travelers in dire situations overseas. Maybe it is maps that are required, assistance for navigation, help for translation or simply converting currencies or distance to traveler’s own standard. The smaller the helpful gadget is, the easier it is to access, and it is used more often. That is why wristwatches with tiny computers inside them can have a bright future on travelers’ wrists.
The Apple Watch is an elegant smartwatch that has some useful travel applications, but because there are more people in the world who are not using Apple products than people who are using them, let’s explore our smartwatch options if we don’t want an Apple watch.
LG Urban Watch
You need a smartphone to provide Internet connection for the smartwatch. In many cases, an app you are accessing on a smartwatch may actually run on your smartphone. So, when you choose your smartwatch, make sure it is compatible with your smartphone.
Since Android is a popular software that is powering most of the world’s smartphones and tablets, it is the obvious choice for smartwatch software as well. The New York Times evaluated three Android smartwatches: Pebble Time, LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360.
Out of these three watches the LG Watch Urbane
is the most useful gadget for travelers. It comes with the best navigation app and voice command functionality.
The Moto 360 shows great potential, but doesn’t have enough functionality yet. It dares to be different, but waiting for the next version of the product maybe worthwhile.
The Pebble Time
is suitable for messaging, and it is waterproof.
Many travelers are carrying tablets and smartphones along to flights they are taking. It means that they have their gadgets with them when they pass through an airport. Yet, a company (OTG) that designs and operates airport restaurants has installed thousands of iPad tablets in eating and waiting areas at airports. What’s the point?
Obviously, airport restaurants want to attract more customers who come in, sit at a table that has an iPad isntalled, and order some food and drinks. That’s not all. Travelers can order their meals using an app on the iPad without having to wait for a waiter. Even more critical timesaving moment is when the plates are empty and it would be time to hurry to the gate. The payment process can be managed on the iPad as well.
Meals can be paid using frequent flier miles. Flight schedules are also available on the iPads.
Early 2015, OTG had installed iPads at gate areas and in restaurants at two airports in New York (Kennedy International and La Guardia), at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark’s Terminal C. Who is the first in Asia or Europe to make iPads available at an airport?
The New York Times tells about a frequent traveler who doesn’t even bother to pick up her own iPad from the bag when she enters the airport. She finds the tablets provided by the airport so convenient.
Anything that helps kill time at airports is welcome for all travelers. Years ago, Changi Airport in Singapore had a game lounge, a TV lounge, and a couple of other places to spend time in. How about downloading a few ebooks on a tablet or smartphone and reading a good book while waiting?