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Intelligent Trekking

Gadgets for going off-grid, apps to ease your travels, and more

Travelmate S Autonomous Suitcase

By Leslie Steere

May/June 2019

Travelmate S Autonomous Suitcase

How many times have you wished that your suitcase would heel like a well-trained dog? Travelmate’s fully autonomous suitcase unleashes you from the bag drag by pairing with your smartphone so it follows you around—and enables you to track its location. It also weighs your contents with a built-in scale, enables you to charge almost any device via its USB port, and uses a TSA-standard Bluetooth-enabled lock. It complies with all carry-on specifications. US$1,099. Travelmate

goTenna Mesh

goTenna Mesh

Stay connected with your fellow trekkers the next time your adventures take you off the grid. With the goTenna Mesh, you and your companions can text each other and share your locations without cell or Wi-Fi service as long as you stay within about a four-mile point-to-point range. The device pairs with any Android or iOS smartphone and creates mobile mesh networks that enable you to stay connected in remote areas or when cell networks are overwhelmed. US$179. goTenna

Purpose-Driven Travel—and Lots of Tech

Undersea, outer space, and earthbound experiences on the agenda
Booking.com’s travel predictions for 2019, based on information from 21,500 survey respondents from around the world and insights from more than 163 million verified guest reviews, show that a majority of travelers (54%) would consider a purpose-driven volunteering trip and that an impressive 86% were willing to spend time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay. Other insights? Tech travel innovations incorporating AI, VR, and speech recognition continue to excite—but ease of use is key. Notable interests include

graph

Source: “Booking.com Reveals 8 Travel Predictions for 2019

Do you speak tech? Quiz yourself!

  1. What is dark data?
    1. Another term for metadata—you can’t see it, but it’s there
    2. Operational data that is captured and stored but not analyzed or used
    3. The growing volume of data gathered during exploration of the deepest regions of outer space
  2. Which of the following learning types is not associated with AI?
    1. Reinforcement learning
    2. Unsupervised learning
    3. Kinesthetic learning
  3. Weak AI is most accurately described as
    1. Narrow AI—or AI that appears to think and understand but can do only what it is programmed to do
    2. AI intended for lightweight mobile apps
    3. AI that is easily distracted by irrelevant input that skews the outcome

Answers: 1. B, 2. C, 3. A

Daring Detours

Travel apps for the spontaneous trekker

HotelTonight

HotelTonight

Forget to book a room for your tech conference in Paris or the Canadian leg of your summer road trip? Find last-minute discounted hotel rooms with HotelTonight, which boasts lowest-price deals on a range of accommodations from hipster to high roller around the world. Search, tap, swipe, and you’re there. Free (Android, iOS)

Hopper

Hopper

Get the best-possible airline fares as much as a year in advance with this free app from Hopper. The company boasts advanced data science that analyzes as many as 15 billion flight prices daily and predicts future prices with 95% accuracy. Buy a cheap flight with a few taps on the app, or sign up to watch a trip and receive price alerts via push notification when prices drop. Hopper provides hotel bookings as well. Free (Android, iOS)

BringFido

BringFido

Anyone who travels with a dog knows the hassle of finding pet-friendly accommodations. BringFido gives you more than 200,000 places where you can enjoy your canine companion while on the road, including hotels, parks, beaches, and restaurants. (It also lists nearby dog walkers, veterinarians, pet supply stores, and other useful services.) Browse by region, city, or category, and filter by various criteria, including the number of animals permitted and price ranges. Book your stay via the app or by phone or email. Free (Android, iOS)

Photographs courtesy of Travelmate, goTenna