KT Connections Blog

Sometimes More Is Better: Tech for the Summer

Summer Tech

Summer is here!

Summer is here, and that means fun in the sun. For many, summer means vacations and an opportunity to unplug, not only from work but technology too - and that’s great. However, some of us are different and live and breathe all things tech. After all, what’s the point of having technology, if you can’t make your life easier? In this case, technology can change a typical vacation, into an extraordinary one.

Here are a few devices which will help prevent the usual mishaps and misadventures from derailing your trip and more importantly, help you enjoy yourself once you arrive at your destination.

Smartwatch

Yes, I know we recently informed you of the importance of being vigilant when using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but it’s summer, and you’re not in the office. This generation of smartwatches are a must-have for convenient access to your information when you’re on vacation. Smartwatches also allow you the opportunity to leave your phone in your room and unplug, yet still have a modicum of accessibility. With the appropriate smartwatch, you can leave that black slab in your hotel room and start to decompress.

Things to look for in a vacation-ready smartwatch:

  • Activity Tracking
  • GPS Ready
  • Phone and notifications capabilities
  • Robust App ecosystem
  • Water-resistant (waterproof is even better)

Your smartwatch is the perfect device to unplug without really unplugging. Just make sure you change the default password to something more secure to protect your device from hackers.

Portable Charger

Portable chargers are trip-savers. There’s nothing worse than driving on a long trip and having your devices run out of power one by one. Sure, you have the charger in your lighter, but that’s not going to help quell the increasing quizzing about destination time from the small ones in the back seats. Yes, I know when we were kids, “sit down and shut up” were the words of the day. However admit it, wouldn’t your trip been just that much better if you could’ve watched your favorite show uninterrupted? I know mine would have and so would my parents’. To the rescue comes a portable charger.

Some of these guys have enough juice to recharge a drained laptop to full power, even while you’re using it and they have no problem charging your phone or tablet. Look for multiple USB ports (make sure the ports support your devices), so you can plug in more than one device if needed.

So you’ve managed to reach your destination without having to threaten to turn the car around. (See, I told you those movies would keep the peace). Now you’re there and ready to capture all those precious moments. What are you going to use, your phone?

A Decent Camera

I already know what you’re going to say, “I have a camera on my phone, and it takes ok pictures and video….why do I need another device to carry?” I hear you, that is a perfectly defensible position to hold, now let me tell you why you should reconsider.

You’re right; most phone cameras take acceptable images and video, note I said acceptable. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I don’t want acceptable, I want exceptional. So yeah, for a device you always have on you, the ability to take pictures is a useful feature. So is having a calculator, a flashlight, GPS, a translator, a media player and so on.

Face it, the smartphone is the Swiss army knife of our generation; however, despite its utility, your smartphone produces pedestrian images and video. Yes they’re good enough to send on a text or post on youtube, however there’s a time where ‘good enough,’ shouldn’t be good enough. For me, that’s on vacation where I’m looking forward to creating memories not only worth sharing, but keeping.

Despite all the progress made on mobile devices in regards to lens and software, only a real camera will provide the results I want to see and keep. Most importantly, cameras that can take video, are shock and water-resistant, if not outright waterproof, can take incredible action shots and video and cost around ½ the price of your smartphone. Yes, that smartphone, the device with the fragile glass screen and all those ports waiting for sand, water and other materials to flow into. Imagine your phone on the sand, over the rocks, under the sea and be afraid.

Personally, I would rather drop my $300 camera into the sand, on the ground or into the sea; confident I could shake it off and keep shooting. Do the same with a phone, and you’ll find yourself shooting with a cracked screen or worse. As they say, the right tool for the right job.
The right tool for taking high-quality images, with minimum risk to your tech, is a decent quality camera, not a phone. If you’re serious about unplugging, leave your phone and temptation to use it, in your room.

E-Reader

When we said the right tool for the right job, we meant it. Once again you have your phone, your tablet or even your laptop, but none of these devices are designed to let you read in bright sunlight. You are enjoying the sun and surf, right? The glare or the washout can make it impossible to read on the glossy screens that are usually on laptops, phones, and tablets. An E-Reader with its matte screen is designed for a variety of lighting conditions, in particular, outdoors.

While it’s a significant change from devices that try to do everything, the single function of an E-reader means it doesn’t have to make compromises. It just has to do one thing very well. While nothing can replace the feeling of holding a physical book and the tactile feel of turning pages, I have found the ability to ‘carry’ and have access to hundreds of books, magazines, newspapers and more, more than offsets the difference between the physical and digital reading experiences.

How I Travel:

Easy: smartwatch on my wrist, camera on my shoulder, Bluetooth headphones, and E-reader. A small carry on with food, drink and I am ready for adventure. Done.

While you are out on your next adventure, be sure to stay up to date on all the latest tips and tricks by subscribing to our blogs. You’ll find these to be helpful - even when you’re away from the office.