Derek Adams
Derek Adams


THE GEAR • May 2016

The future of travel tech

For 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has been the launchpad for innovation and technology. This year’s event highlighted an abundance of tantalising, travel-related gadgetry. Tech head Derek Adams chooses his favourites

Eye candy

Click the image to see the Avegant Glyph in action
The Avegant Glyph personal theatre ($699) was one of the most interesting video headsets at CES. According to the marketing blurb, ‘the Glyph’s Retinal Imaging Technology uses advanced optics and two million mirrors to project images directly to your eyes in order to recreate natural sight’. It’s not too cumbersome on the head and because there’s a sliver of space above and below the eyes, it doesn’t impinge on spatial awareness, so it’s less likely to make you giddy. It works with any HDMI-supported device and provides such an immersive experience that some users might miss their boarding call. Available soon.

Smooth operator

The ability to shoot stable hand-held footage on the move takes practice, but with the DJI Osmo (£549) anyone can film like a pro, even while running. Simply attach an iOS or Android phone, log on to the Osmo’s Wi-Fi circuit, launch the DJI Go app and leave it to the Osmo’s three-axis gimbal to iron out the jitters. The phone’s touchscreen acts as a monitor, while the 4K camera itself can swivel a full 360 degrees. The built-in microphone is poor but the cinematic results more than compensate.


Watch out

If you’re a fitness aficionado, consider the new Fitbit Blaze (£160). It’s no Apple Watch killer, but for the price, it offers sophisticated technology including workout regimes, GPS to track your routes and see your running stats, heart monitoring and auto sleep tracking with silent alarms. Its new SmartTrack software keeps tabs on your activities, and the device provides call, text and calendar alerts.


Double vision

Welcome to the brave new world of virtual reality 360-degree movies. The twin lens KeyMission 360 (price not yet announced) from Nikon shoots wrap-around 4K Ultra HD video using two spherical lenses, one on each side of the body. You can watch the spectacular widescreen results on a virtual reality headset, any smartphone using Google’s Cardboard VR viewer, or by holding up your phone and moving it around. The KeyMission is freeze- and shock-proof, and water resistant to 30 metres. Available this summer.


Wheel tech

The Segway is still popular in much of Europe and the US, where riding motorised vehicles on pavements remains legal. The Segway Robot (price not yet announced) is much smaller and has no handlebars: you ride it like a hoverboard. However, press a button and it turns into a voice-activated robot that follows you around, greets visitors, videos you, talks and blinks its digital eyes. You can even equip it with optional arms for holding things. Shipping in autumn 2016.


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This article has been tagged Technology, Culture