The gear • January 2017
The Club’s resident ‘techspert’ Derek Adams reveals five shiny new gadgets that will make your 2017 trips even better
Launching in January 2017, Modobag ($1,095) – the world’s first motorised ride-on suitcase – functions like any other piece of carry-on luggage, but when it’s time to board your flight, simply unfold its handlebar and quick-release foot-pegs, hop on and press the throttle to whizz along the concourse at a not-too-shabby 5mph (crank it up to 8mph outdoors). The battery provides enough juice for eight miles of cruising, and there are two 5v USB mobile device chargers.
Parrot’s head-turning, Philipe Starck-designed Zik 3 wireless headphones (£280) are just the ticket for a long-haul flight. The leather-bound Zik 3 offers both wired and wireless connectivity, wireless charging, six hours of wire-free playback and one of the best aircraft noise-cancelling features in can-land. The headphones also feature a touch control panel on the right ear cup: to skip tracks, pause and adjust the volume, simply swipe or tap your finger on the outer casing.
Apple aficionados will be well aware that the company has dropped the headphone input on its iPhone 7. You could use that as an excuse to purchase Apple’s new wireless AirPods, or you could just carry on using your existing headphones and plug them into the clever Griffin iTrip Clip (£20) instead. Simply clip the Bluetooth 4.1-enabled gizmo to your shirt or lapel, plug in your headphones and, voila, no more rummaging around for your phone or tablet every time you want to change the track or adjust the volume.
Pack the new Kindle Oasis e-reader (£270) and you’ll marvel at its glare-free, backlit touchscreen and ability to store more novels than the average public library. The Oasis is 20 per cent lighter than its stablemates and fitted with a tapered handgrip for easy one-handed reading. Naturally, it comes with the usual Kindle features such as adjustable fonts, dictionary definitions and Wikipedia information.
Self-locking, smartphone-operated suitcases are all the rage but the AirBolt ($80) bucks the trend by being, well, just a lock. But no ordinary lock. The TSA-accepted AirBolt connects to any Android or iOS device via Bluetooth 4.2 and allows the user to remotely lock and unlock any suitcase it’s attached to. It also features crowd location tracking and will send an alert to your phone if you leave the suitcase behind.