Digital projectors that fit in your pocket. Speakers the size of gingerbread cookies. Virtual keyboards small enough to hang from your key ring.
The business travel market is flooded with tiny gadgets. Sure, executives want the biggest seat on the plane. But when it comes to gadgets, it’s often the little devices that have the greatest mystique.
Some, like flash drive cuff links, are micronovelties. Others fit easily into the palm and help jet-setting executives work more efficiently, all while silently signaling their status in the elite traveler pecking order.
One of the strongest sellers from Brookstone, the retailer with 50 shops in more than 25 major airports, is a $449.99 projector that’s about the size of a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich.
The Pocket Projector Pro (which claims a brightness of 200 lumens) enables the business traveler to beam presentations, HD movies or videos onto a screen with a diagonal up to 100 inches from his or her smartphone, tablet or laptop. (Apple devices require an adapter, sold separately.) The device has two built-in speakers and can run up to two hours on a single charge.
The trend is lighter, thinner, more compact and more efficient, said Craig Grayson, the operational vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Brookstone’s travel and airport merchandising.
Another palm-size gadget that recently began appearing in Brookstone stores is the 5200 mAh USB Backup Battery ($69.99), a new twist on the company’s dual-port pocket battery.
It’s not the teeniest backup battery on the market, but those ubiquitous lipstick-size backup batteries are not as powerful. They can’t charge two devices such as a tablet and a smartphone at once, or fully charge a phone multiple times. The 5200 mAh USB Backup Battery recharges using folding prongs that plug right into a wall so no need to carry (or remember to carry) an adapter and yet another cable to recharge.
Among the most buzzed-about new chargers is Mophie’s Space Pack ($149.95 to $249.95). Introduced earlier this year, it’s a backup battery-cum-phone-case for iPhone 5 and 5S that doubles the life of your phone and can also provide up to 64GB of additional media storage.
That’s more than 30,000 photos, 28 hours of video and 18,000 songs on your smartphone thanks to a case that’s about 2.6 inches by 5.7 inches. Any file type can be stored using the Space Pack, making it ideal for business executives.
Christopher Olshan, the chief marketing officer for the Luxury Marketing Council, a trade group with chapters in more than 40 cities worldwide for product and services companies, said his go-to travel devices include an external telephoto wide-angle lens and a fisheye lens for his iPhone — accessories that are little bigger than marbles and are available from various makers.
“I use the magnetic lenses; however, the ones built into an iPhone case have gotten better reviews,” he said, referring to little lenses that are placed over an iPhone’s camera and stay put thanks to a magnet. “But I would rather sacrifice a bit of image quality than have to switch cases every time I want to take a photo.”
To access the Internet whether delayed in an airport or on a road trip, there’s the new LaCie Fuel, a narrow, 4.5-inch square that can let you store and view more than 500 movies or thousands of photos, songs and documents. (It includes 1 terabyte of wireless storage for $179.99; 2 terabytes for $249.99). Up to five devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) can wirelessly access the data simultaneously, and the company says the battery can last up to 10 hours. The Fuel can also connect to WiFi hotspots and share its Internet connection with up to four wireless devices.
At a hotel or airport lounge, business travelers can charge their smartphones and up to three other devices (tablet, backup battery, iPod) simultaneously with the new Sharper Image 4-USB-Port Charging Tower ($34.99), which plugs into the wall and is about the size of a remote control.
A multifaceted cable, like Brookstone’s 3-to-1 USB Cable — which has a USB connector on one end and Lightning, 30-pin and Micro USB connectors on the other — is also handy ($34.99). It allows travelers to charge any device they or their colleagues happen to have, be it from Apple, Samsung or Nokia.
Yet the accouterments of business travel are not always all about work.
For a potentially more restful sleep in the hotel, there are diminutive noise machines, like the Tranquil Moments bedside sleep-sound machine ($129.99), available at Brookstone, that has settings for “thunderstorm,” “summer night” and “celestial.” It also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker when you’re not trying to drift off. Many other Bluetooth speakers are available in portable packages, including Jawbone’s Mini Jambox ($129.99).
Bang & Olufsen just introduced its first portable Bluetooth speaker, the BeoPlay A2 ($399). It’s less than 2.5 pounds, comes in green, black and gray, and has a leather strap so it can hang from a doorknob or hook in a hotel room. There is also a long strap for slinging it over a shoulder. Just don’t forget to slip it back into your bag before checking out.
For those who prefer to keep their playlists private, there are a variety of listening options, including Sharper Image’s new wireless, lightweight Bluetooth headphones ($120) that, while an over-the-ear style, still fold up nicely.
Of course, some paraphernalia do not require batteries or chargers.
“I still pack too many books,” said Gregory J. Furman, founder and chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council. “I haven’t converted,” he added, referring to tablets and e-readers. “I just like the feel of a book. I write in the margins.”
Nonetheless, in a world of shrinking accessories, he proposes a way to keep with the trend.
“Take lighter books,” he said.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.
Powered by WPeMatico