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Monday, March 23, 2015

Travel 2.0: Smart Suitcases

Call it Travel 2.0, when luggage melds with high technology to morph into a suitcase category called smart bags. What can smart bags do that more sluggish luggage can’t? According to my discoveries at this year’s Travel Goods Showcase in Las Vegas, all sorts of stuff. To wit, you can unlock these smarties remotely, or opt to open the biometric lock with a fingerprint. You can track the bags wherever they go, and however far they may get away from you. You can use them to recharge mobile devices or to get a party started. Indeed, several of the new smart bags feature speakers which transform a suitcase into a boom box. And that's just for starters. As you'll see from the examples below, innovative smart bags are combining brains and beauty in one special package.
The folks who developed The Planet Traveler SpaceCase 1 say it's the most technologically advanced suitcase coming onto the market. Features include a biometric lock, global tracking, a Bluetooth speaker, and lithium power pack. A digital sensor scale sensor is in the wheels, so you don’t actually have to lift the case to weigh it. A downloadable app controls all features, and is designed to serve as a PTA--a personal travel assistant.  The Planet Traveler SpaceCase 1 is expected to be on the market by November. The price: $700 for a full-size bag; $600 for the carry-on bag. High tech doesn’t come cheap, particularly in its first incarnation.

Planet Traveler SpaceCase1

The Andiamo iQ is also expected to hit the market this fall. Among its many smart features are a USB battery charger; a removable mobile power pack; a remote lock and unlock via the app ; a digital scale; and an anti-theft alert system that alerts you (well, your cell phone) when the bag moves 30 meters away from you; and a digital scale. Available only in carry-on, the iQ will cost $599.

Delsey’s Pluggage won't be ready until next spring. But given that it comes from a French company, you can expect a stylish debut. Delsey recently conducted an on-line survey to determine which smart features its clientele most covet. Among the options-- an inside lighting system, an auto weight scale, fingerprint ID via smartphone, and an inside speaker. After more than 6,000 votes were tabulated, the top features desired--the scale, a digital lock, and on-board detection. The feedback will be considered as the revolutionary bag is designed. The price for the carry-on is expected to be in the range of $600.

Pluggage from Delsey (prototype)

Want to hear more? Take a listen to my report on Around the World Radio. The link gets you to the archives. Find the March 19 show and go to the last segment..

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shark Bites: Business Travel Tips from Daymond John

How does a shark take a bite out of travel hassles?  I recently met Daymond John, the snazzy Shark, at the Travel Goods Showcase in Las Vegas. I asked the self-made multi-millionaire how he survives life on the road.

Daymond (because we are, of course, on a first-name basis) travels about 250 days a year. Even assuming he travels only in first or business class, all of that airtime has to take a toll. To stay grounded, he follows these rules religiously:

1. "I always read my list of goals first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to sleep. That way, I can spend the day putting goals into action, and then I set myself up to dream about them during the night."

2. Also on Daymond's to-do list: A workout first thing in the morning.

3. Daymond gets even more exercise while returning telephone calls. He sets aside two hours for phone calls...which he makes while walking.

4. "I never schedule dinners after seven," he says. Good idea, Daymond. Late dinners mean a body has to work overtme on digestion into the wee hours of the night.

5. Finally, a shark on the go has to learn to say no....or better yet, no tanks.

For St. Patrick's Day, the #ManicPunday theme is Green.

  1. The shy leprechaun may have Asparagus Syndrome.
  2. Heard stevie wonders new song ? I just kaled to say I love you.

  3. Although I love reading puns, I usually leaf punning to the pros. I'm not frond of it.

  1. Sorry to miss . Mondays are chard. On a kale of 1-10, it's a 1. Next thyme.

  1. Wanted to do a pun for on the topic all things green but I can't Kermit to it....
  2. Although best known for his operas, he actually preferred Latino dance music, going by the name Salsa Verdi.
What time does this spinach ?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

CNN Coverage: What's the Deal with These Modern Hotel Names?

 Read all about why Moxy, Venu, Jaz in the City, Vib, and other new hotel brand names are being purposely misspelled. Blame those millennials!

For those who prefer video to print, watch this instead, I discussed the topic recently on Let's Talk Live in Washington, DC.