Travelling is, for the most part, quicker, easier and smoother than it ever has been before. And yet, despite countless advancements in design and technology over the last decade or so, there are some travel challenges that just seem set on sticking around.
While we’ve still got a bit of a way to go before traveling is entirely the pain free, pleasant experience we’d all love to enjoy, here are six new ideas that set out to solve some of the more enduring travel niggles.
Plane seats are cramped enough without having to scuffle with a stranger for a place to perch your elbows. Enter The Paperclip Armrest. Devised by Hong Kong based designer James Lee, the new seat design features a top and bottom tier which allows passengers on both sides their due space. But, as anyone in aviation will tell you, good design takes time to go from the drawing board to the aircraft. A long time. We may be battling elbows for a while yet.
Sometimes, you just don’t want to talk to anyone. Created by Idan Noyberg and Gal Bulka, The B-Tourist band is an adjustable privacy screen and head rest rolled into one, which attaches to seat headrests. While we’re certainly all for trying to create a comfortable personal space in the claustrophobic confines of an airliner, the jury’s still out on this one…
One day, airport security could be handled by a machine instead of an agent. Behold the Qylatron kiosk, from California based Qylur Security Systems. The artificial intelligence self-service screening machine is “five times faster, detects multiple security threats, reduces security costs with up to 50% less staffing,” according to the company, and doesn’t require passengers to do much more than stuff their bags into a pigeon-hole and collect their stuff on the other side.
OK, while perhaps not a travel nuisance as such, there are still plenty of occasions when the ability to take hands-free photos would come in very handy indeed. The new Whistle Camera app for Android lets you do just that, allowing you to activate your phone’s camera shutter with nothing more than a, well… whistle. Its major claim is to simplify selfie taking - no more struggling to one-hand your phone while pressing the camera button - but what we’re most excited about is being able to capture all those amazing landscapes you encounter while driving, or when your hands are otherwise wrapped up in non-touchscreen friendly gloves (i.e. while skiing).
Syncing enough – or the right – tv series or movies to take with you on holiday can be tricky, especially if you’ve got a few people to cater for. The sandwich-sized LaCie Fuel drive allows you to carry and remotely stream more than 500 movies, on up to five different devices simultaneously, without needing an internet connection.
Simple, but extremely effective; the SkyView Travel Seatback Mount lets you mount your mobile device over the seat latch in front you. Its adjustable grip means that it works with most tablets, phones and e-readers, and you can also use the mount as a free-standing support on your tray.
Now if only someone would get on to sorting out cramped economy seats, that terrible airline coffee, other people’s children, having to carry anything….