It's exciting times in the travel world when some of the most enriching technologies can be worn on your person. From helping you to communicate in the local lingo to tailoring your cruise experience to fit your every whim, these are some of the ways wearable tech can improve the way you travel.
1. Fearlessly Chat with the Locals
Biggest pitfall when traveling in a foreign country? Often it's the language barrier, but with wearable translation devices on the market, that need no longer be the case. If you are headed to Japan or China, sign up to be one of the first to get your hands on an ili, a Japanese-made gadget, due to be released in June, that translates your words near instantly and can even be used without Wi-Fi or data. The company's YouTube clip makes using it look like a lot of fun too.
Also in the works is the Dutch-made, crowdfunded Travis, which will translate 80 languages when it's online, from Afrikaans to Welsh, 20 of which will also be available when offline. The product is due to launch in the winter.
2. Monitor Your UV Rays
Are you the type who tends to overdo the sun exposure when soaking up the rays in a far-off locale? French beauty brand La Roche-Posay wants to help save your skin via its My UV Patch product, launched last year. The transparent adhesive patch stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that you want to monitor and changes colors when exposed to UV rays. Take a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app to determine the amount of UV exposure.
3. Avoid Long Lines
Opening May 25 at Universal Orlando is Volcano Bay, which will offer its own wearable. With a wave of the wrist, guests will be able to use the waterproof devices to hold their places in the ride lines, avoid carrying their own tubes around the park, and reveal other surprises throughout. The innovative new water park will be steps away from Universal’s other theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, five themed on-site hotels Universal CityWalk’s dining, shopping, and entertainment.
4. Hyper-Personalize Your Cruise Experience
Announced earlier this year and due to launch in November, Carnival cruise line's Ocean Medallion product aims to, not only replace room keys and methods of payment, but to anticipate cruise passengers' every need. Similar to, but more evolved than, Disneyland's Magic Band, Travel Weekly reports that "its breakthrough feature is the ability to offer guests services that are more personally relevant by learning from the choices guests make in food and drink, shore excursions, ship activities, and merchandise purchases." Thanks to thousands of sensors spread around, the ship knows exactly where you are and can offer food and drink suggestions, based on personal preferences, depending upon your location.
5. Get Directions, Apps, and Room Keys on Your Wrist
The OG piece of wearable tech, the Apple Watch, is great for travelers. You can store all your airline apps on it and send your boarding pass to it. You can use the Citmapper app to find your way around more discreetly than a paper map or even your phone and, if you are staying at a Starwood hotel, you can even unlock your room.
6. Monitor Your Sleep, Heart and Activity
Travel can play havoc with our bodies, from disrupted sleep patterns to the tendency to become sloth-like on vacation. No more. The FitBit Charge HR keeps you up to speed with how much, or little exercise you are getting, as well as monitoring heart rate and tracking how well, and long you sleep.
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