Europe’s biggest tech show in Berlin once again delivered the goods
From an adaptor to make inflight entertainment wireless to a smartphone with flip-out keyboard for extra productivity on the go, the annual IFA technology exhibition in Berlin did not disappoint. Here is our pick of the best travel gadgets in Berlin.
There a lot of wireless headphones, earphones and even ‘true wireless’ AirPod-style products at IFA 2019 – active many of them with noise-canceling – but are any of them of any use on a plane? Not with the inflight entertainment system, that’s for sure. Cue the Wireless Flight Adaptor from Scotland-based RHA, which plugs into a two-pronged slot on a plane and wirelessly connects any wireless headphones via Bluetooth 5.0
The Kindle is back … kind of. Using a battery-efficient E-ink display similar to that found on old-style Kindles, this 13.3-inch tablet runs Android. With a resolution of 2,200×1,650 and 207 DPI, a 4,300mAh battery that ought to last for the duration of a long trip, the BOOX Max3 has fingerprint recognition, works as a desktop extender for a PC monitor, and can be used with a stylus to annotate documents. It also runs on Android 9.0 and supports apps from the Google Play Store. That means file transfers from Dropbox and … even the Kindle app itself!
Music and phone calls without anything in your ears? When you’re on the mountain, earphones are dangerous because you can’t hear what’s going on around you. So these polarised ski goggles have two tiny speakers than sit in front of your ears, sending the low-frequency sound straight into your inner ear using bone conduction. As a bonus, they also happen to have new Bluetooth 5.0 MESH Intercom tech, so you can talk to anyone up to a mile away by connecting to them via other Bluetooth devices. That gets over the problem of there being no 4G signal in ski resorts.
Swimming in a hotel pool is the only exercise a lot of business travelers ever get, and yet doing lengths can be a lonely and boring experience. Again using bone conduction tech, the Xtrainerz are waterproof to IP68 standard so can be submerged in up to 2m of water for up to two hours. They also work as a Walkman; the 4GB storage is enough to host about 1,200 MP3 files, though you do have to hook them up to a PC or Mac to transfer files.
Do you still travel with a laptop or tablet? Or yearn for the old days of Blackberry phones with keyboards? A nifty design that sees a full QWERTY keyboard slide out from underneath, this 6-inch Android phone makes it possible to split-screen apps when in the landscape orientation. It’s all about productivity, but with a dose of retro thrown in.