Go Go Gadget! 8 Must-Haves for Active LifestyleTuesday, June 14, 2016 Travel Tips and Hacks by Kate Rutkovskaya
I was trying to kill the time on the plane during one of my recent flights when I suddenly discovered an old folder on my laptop with cartoons that I once downloaded for my niece.
I was going through the list to see if something might interest me.
Here I have to say that I love cartoons of all types – either the old ones with ridiculous plots and weird characters that trigger huge waves of nostalgia, or the new masterpieces from Pixar and Disney.
Every cartoon I saw in my life had some philosophical implication.
Or in the worst case was aimed to make you think about such notions of our everyday life as friendship and love, work and travel, success and failure, etc.
Oh my, I got a little distracted.
What I was going to say is that as I was looking for a cartoon to watch I bumped into one title that made me sing its theme song in my head:
Go Gadget go
Go Gadget go
(Don’t blame me if you will be left singing this tune over and over again for the rest of the day!)
So I was watching Inspector Gadget, the animated TV series about one very clumsy and pretty shallow detective who – to his luck – was equipped with an incredible amount of bionic gadgets that were supposed to help him get around and do things faster and in a more effective way.
Somehow, he more often ended up in an awkward situation due to gadget misusage.
Each time before using a gadget Inspector had to say: “Go go gadget…” and then call the gadget by its name.
Like, he says “Go go Gadget ‘Brella” and a hand holding an umbrella comes out of his hat and can be used as a parachute.
Or “Go go Gadget ‘Copter” call for a helicopter propeller blades that also come out of his hat and enable him to fly.
As I was watching one episode after another, there was one thought rotating in my mind: most of the gadgets described in the cartoon exist today in some form.
For example, in each episode he meets the Chief Quimby in disguise who gives him a brief containing his next assignment, which ends with “this message will self-destruct.”
All this right away reminded me of the way modern messengers work, like Telegram or Whatsapp.
They use end-to-end encryption of the conversations with an option to delete messages after they’re read which is basically the same idea.
Inspector Gadget also has a Top Secret Gadgetphone built right in his hand. Kind of reminds us of Apple Watch, doesn’t it?
So I was thinking and thinking and thinking… about all those gadgets that surround us every day that used to be a fiction or even an animator’s sick fantasy once upon a time.
And as my every thought is with Activity Fan, I couldn’t help but wonder – what are the latest inventions in the field of active lifestyle?
I do consider myself a tech-savvy traveller and generally very enthusiastic about all kinds of innovations and gadgets.
And what I like most is not just pretty things that perform the same function as a less pretty thing, but I’m more into stuff that comprises multiple functions in one gadget, or helps save the time, space and our Mother Earth.
I turned to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and of course Google to pick the most amusing gadgets and recent inventions that must be useful for those who travel a lot and have life full of various activities.
And here’s my list.
Go Go Gadget Lifepack
The producers of a solar-powered backpack called Lifepack launched a campaign on Kickstarter in February 2016 and by the end of April it got more than 3700 backers and raised $613,918.
The initial funding goal was only $20,000 but it got hit in only 8 hours after the start.
Lifepack claims to be a re-invented mobile office.
The product includes lots of features that backpackers and travellers of all kinds will find ultra useful:
– a solar powered USB charger so you can stop worrying about your phone
– portable Bluetooth speakers to play your favourite music wirelessly
– integrated cable lock that can also be used as a bottle opener
– 4 hidden compartments, including a passport-sized pocket in the strap that allows you to safely conceal your travel documents
– drop resistant storage for your laptop, papers, smartphone and other necessities
– weather resistant material because you never know when rain can happen.
The Lifepack was available to its Kickstarter backers for $125.
Then the producer launched another campaign through Indiegogo to allow people to continue to pre-order at a great discounted price of $169.
The final retail price will be $249.
I would add a GPS tracker to make this backpack feel like a complete leader of the ‘smart luggage’ market.
Go Go Gadget Donut…or Bagel?
What is every digital nomad’s worst nightmare?
Getting out of power on all devices.
This happened to me not once, when I was a newbie traveller I often forgot to check the type of electricity adaptors in the country I was going to.
So it took time to find converters and then charge all the devices.
And all this time I was very very nervous.
But even if I did have a converter with me, there was always a limited number of power outlets at the airport or in my hotel room.
Get rid of this headache with Mogics.
This round, pocket-sized power strip does not only eliminates every traveler’s power outlet anxiety but also has a fun design concept.
The product comes in two varieties:
a Donut – has 5 US AC Socket + 2 USB ports
a Bagel – has 4 Universal (UK, EU, AU, US) AC Sockets + 1 US AC Socket + 2 USB ports
It also has its own Universal travel adapter, so you can plug it in anywhere.
Those who were lucky to pre-order Mogics through Kickstarter paid only $36 for Bagel + Travel adapter and $39 for Donut + Travel adapter.
Both sets are now available through Mogics official website for $49.
Portable Light for Jet Lag Treatment
Another nightmare of a frequent traveller or just an active person is jet lag or lack of energy.
Light therapy has been proved to be the most effective means of fighting against both.
Luminette used this fact to create portable eyewear that can be easily put in a carry-on and help save your productivity when travelling.
It would look pretty weird if you wore it in public thought.
So you’ll have to spend additional 30 min in the morning before you leave your hotel room but in exchange you’ll have your biological clock set to the right time zone.
But not only travellers find it useful.
The device will come in handy for those who suffer from melancholia during winter months or work late hours and have troubles falling asleep or waking up in the morning.
The glasses are available for € 239.00 which is a fair price compared to all those cups of coffee and lost opportunities you have when your energy levels are low.
Go Go Gadget 4K Action Camera
4k action camera.
Yes, you’ve heard it right.
With Olfi action camera it is now possible to capture your best activities in 4k resolution, which is the next level of video quality after FullHD (1080p).
Plus have the image stabilized due to the gyro mode so your surfing or hiking videos will no longer be shaky.
The design is extremely similar to the popular GoPro Hero4, which is a little box that can be mounted to your helmet, bike, or any other holder using any of the GoPro accessories.
With Olfi you can go under water as deep as 30 meters.
So you can enjoy the beauty of diving sites around the world not only while diving but any time after.
Just don’t forget the waterproof case.
There’s also an app being developed now that will enable the camera to be connected to an iOS or Android device.
Olfi features many other features but what pleases me most is its price – half the price of the GoPro flagman and best price-quality ratio among all competitors in the niche.
New Gadget – New Activity
There’s a number of recent trends revolutionizing the way we exercise and the way we bike: for pleasure or in the gym – from Nordic walking to electric bikes.
But there’s one that definitely stands out of the both crowds.
Electric walking bike.
It’s hard to imagine what’s it like so first watch this:
Isn’t this a totally new way of moving?
The company called Lopifit started as a small idea when its founder was exercising on his cross trainer in his garage.
Just as any other inventor out there he was wondering how he could use the same things in other conditions and thus improve the whole experience.
His thoughts went approximately like this:
Can I use a treadmill outdoors?
Wouldn’t that be much more fun including the fact that I can enjoy nature?
What about a treadmill on wheels?
Several years of dedicated work has led Lopifit to what you have just seen in the video.
The electric assist in combination with the gear boost your walking pace up to the speed of a regular bike.
As soon as you start walking, the motor is activated and supports you to continue the movement.
If you are going downhill, a freewheel function is activated.
It is pretty costly but to my mind Lopifit is not just yet another invention.
It’s a new type of activity that can be as fun as biking and hiking comprised.
And not to mention how much more fascinating a city tour on an electric walking bike can be!
So spending a €1,899 on something that will replace a bike and a treadmill sounds feasible.
Not a Gadget but A Soul Savior
Now answer this:
How many minutes/hours a week you spend looking for your phone, keys, papers and other little but important things?
I answer: A LOT!
No matter if you’re a busy business traveller or an absentminded housewife – you lose stuff every now and then.
Happens to the best of us.
Finally there’s a solution to this disaster.
A tiny Bluetooth tracker finds your phone, keys, wallet, luggage, purse, camera, remote control, kids toys, and anything else you attach it to.
Besides locating your lost item by following the sound it makes or finding it on the map, you can also mark it as “lost” and get an alert when it’s found.
Compatible with most smartphones and keeps the battery for at least a year.
Tile is exactly what we all have been dreaming of!
Go Go Gadget Tree House
We all remember the tree houses we were building as kids.
Some of us still enjoy the idea of camping under the clear summer skies.
So do I.
But I am always concerned about the impact campers have over the nature.
And that is why I want to introduce you to Tentsile: tents with no footprint.
In fact, Tentsile Tree Tents are tree houses that you can take anywhere.
The key idea of the project is to create a usable space through pure tension.
I had to summon all my school physics knowledge to understand how that is achieved and how the tents are installed and tuned.
But in the end it turned out to be quite easy!
My favourite part is that the producers plant 3 trees for each tent sold!
Just imagine: uneven ground or cold floors, snakes, bugs or other night guests – all these won’t bother you anymore.
Starting with only $150.00 the tents are pretty affordable.
So if you’re a dedicated camper and nature lover – it’s a must-have for you this summer.
Go Go Gadget Subwing
Summer is here, indeed!
And here is a brand new idea of a summer activity for those who like to have fun under water.
SUBWING – an innovative watersport invented and developed in a country you expect it from the least – Norway.
I wonder how many warm days in a year they have to test their new invention in real conditions.
Anyway, I find it extremely fun and it is actually one of the things I’ve just put on my bucket list.
But as I live in Thailand it might also become my daily routine.
It’s low maintenance and requires very little additional equipment – if you have a diving mask you’re good to go.
Just attached the Subwing to a boat (recommended rope length is 15 meters) and have it go at 2-3 km/h.
You can easily control your movement by tilting the wings in the direction you want to go.
Dive up and down, spin or swing sideways on a thrilling under water ride.
Subwing won several design awards in Norway and Germany.
And I hope the quality is also German because I am ordering one right now!
P.S. An Inspector Gadget sequel was aired in 2015 and it is now available exclusively through Netflix. But it’s a whole different story…